Delivering emergency care in times of COVID-19
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Amidst the COVID-19-hit world, Dr Tamorish Kole, President, Asian Society for Emergency Medicine (ASEM) shares his insights on how to move towards the new normal and redesign the process, so that emergency care is delivered and demanded at the right place at the right time

1. Create a physical divide

The concept of split ED to maintain social distancing and cross exposure has proven amazingly effective. As per Government guidelines also, patients at high risk for COVID-19 needed to be appropriately screened, triaged and separated.

2. Zoning

Patients meeting case definition criteria should be streamed into a dedicated ‘high-risk’ treatment zone within the ED with immediate isolation from other waiting patients.

3. Mobile or modular care units

Many hospitals have opened COVID-19 testing centres out of hospital building. The benefits of such units are to keep possible sick patients in their cars, and better protect healthcare staff and other patients inside hospitals. This can be built near EDs for the same reasons.

4. Staffing

Staff working in the high-risk zone should (a) wear appropriate PPE at all times; (b) is not permitted to bring food into this or any other clinical area; (c) takes regular, planned breaks to preserve health and wellbeing, especially in the setting of continuous PPE use.

5. Telehealth

Emergency care must also include telehealth as one of the delivery options. During infectious disease outbreaks, telehealth can enable remote triaging of patients and provide rapidly accessible information through technology on where to seek care – such as the use of chatbots in Singapore during COVID-19.

Note: The views expressed in the article is of Dr Tamorish Kole, President, Asian Society for Emergency Medicine (ASEM)

Source: https://www.expresshealthcare.in/blogs/how-avoiding-emergency-department-visits-can-have-serious-consequences/423632/
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