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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Community Hospital Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

  • Author(s): Rahman, Nishad A.;
  • Guidry, Kayla;
  • Brining, Elizabeth D.;
  • Liu, David;
  • Leke-Tambo, Ngunyi S.;
  • Cotarelo, Adrian A.;
  • Kulkarni, Miriam;
  • Mok, Norman;
  • Milizia, Raffaele
  • et al.

Since early 2020, the world has been living through coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Westchester County, New York, was one of the hardest and earliest hit places in the United States. Working within a community emergency department amid the rise of a highly infectious disease such as COVID-19 presented many challenges, including appropriate isolation, adequate testing, personnel shortages, supply shortfalls, facility changes, and resource allocation. Here we discuss our process in navigating these complexities, including the practice changes implemented within our institution to counter these unprecedented issues. These adjustments included establishing three outdoor tents to serve as triage areas; creating overflow intensive care units through conversion of areas that had previously served as the ambulatory surgery unit, post-anesthesia care unit, and endoscopy suite; increasing critical care staff to meet unprecedented need; anticipating and adapting to medical supply shortages; and adjusting resident physician roles to meet workflow requirements. By analyzing and improving upon the processes delineated below, our healthcare system should be better prepared for future pandemics.

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