With the coronavirus making landfall in the continental United States, is your staff prepared to handle potentially infected patients? All medical offices, no matter their size or specialty, should have an infection control and emergency preparedness plan in place. A solid plan, coupled with thorough screenings, can aid the healthcare community as a whole better manage this outbreak(1).
If you and your staff are not already familiar with the CDC’s educational site, now is the time to circulate that information, which can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html(2). While a global epidemic can seem frightening, especially to healthcare workers, education is one of the best weapons you can provide your staff. Media reports, while helpful in disseminating information quickly, can also cause undue stress and panic among uninformed populations.
Proper resource management is essential for a healthcare practice during potential pandemics. For example, non-healthcare venues affect absenteeism at your practice. Consider how schools, childcare centers, and other business closings affect your staff. Be sure to work these contingencies into your emergency preparedness plan. Also give thought to how other local infrastructure, such as law enforcement and the transportation industry, affect your practice.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released an online training program that may prove beneficial to you and your staff. It can be accessed via this link: https://openwho.org/courses/introduction-to-ncov(3). The course, which was published on January 26, 2020, has already seen a large volume of registered users – almost 3,000 daily. It is free to enroll, and is currently being produced in many languages across the globe. The World Health Organization believes that dispersing this type of knowledge into the hands of first responders (such as you and your staff) is paramount in controlling the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Contact us today. We can provide additional resources and training ideas to create an emergency preparedness plan that your practice can put into place immediately.