As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the country, emergency physician-led care teams are on the frontlines helping to respond to confirmed or suspected cases. That is why ACEP is doing all that we can to make sure you are prepared. Today, we are releasing guidelines to ensure the nation’s emergency patients receive the best care possible in the case of pandemic outbreak.
The ACEP National Strategic Plan for Emergency Department Management of Outbreaks of COVID-19 informs health care personnel, public health, and government officials at all levels of the necessary capabilities that must be present for successful emergency department management of an outbreak of COVID-19. The Strategic Plan includes a checklist for facilities, as well as a personal preparation checklist for individual emergency physicians. The plan—which is adapted from the federal template for biological threat management—comprises a five-pillar strategy for successful emergency department management of an outbreak of COVID-19:
- Situational awareness;
- Protection of the emergency department infrastructure and personnel;
- Prevention of disruptions in service delivery;
- Organized, timely surge medical response; and,
- Recovery to the previous steady state.
While federal support and coordination will be critical, the recommendations outlined in the ACEP’s National Strategic Plan should prompt a local process that defines how to operationalize these capabilities and to articulate the necessary requirements to perform them. Those requirements should result in the targeting of resources and the identification of gaps that may exist in funding. Unfunded requirements must be communicated to local emergency managers and political leaders to guide resource allocations and possible supplementary grant funding from federal entities.
Beyond the strategic plan, ACEP has ramped up our advocacy efforts, reaching out to congressional leaders as well as Trump Administration officials with specific requests that will help ensure that you have the resources you need to safely care for your patients. These requests focus on the following areas:
- Ensuring access to care for those who are infected or suspect infection;
- Securing an adequate workforce; and,
- Ensuring adequate resource allocation.
In addition, our public relations team is preparing patient-facing materials to provide essential recommendations to keep the public safe. We will keep you updated as the situation rapidly evolves. We encourage you to visit our website: www.acep.org/COVID19 to stay up-to-date with the latest developments.
Until next week, this is Jeffrey saying, enjoy reading, or listening to, regs with your eggs!