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April 17, 2020updated 06 May 2020 2:23pm

Hospitals Are Repurposing Resources to Face COVID-19

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase around the world, many hospitals are working to stretch their resources and supplies as far as possible to cope with influxes of patients. The three main challenges for hospitals are finding additional beds, ventilators, and creating new space for these patients.

By GlobalData Healthcare

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase around the world, many hospitals are working to stretch their resources and supplies as far as possible to cope with influxes of patients. The three main challenges for hospitals are finding additional beds, ventilators, and creating new space for these patients.

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With respect to hospital beds, large hospitals might have the budgets to order additional beds. However, this is not an option for many hospitals that do not have available funds, even when considering cost-effective products from countries like China. Therefore, it is up to many hospitals to free up bed space for COVID-19 patients. Hospitals will be able to gather beds from surgical units, since all elective surgeries have been reduced. Hospitals first postponed surgeries for non-cancer cases that were deemed to be non-urgent. This is estimated to increase bed space by about 10%. Furthermore, by only allowing surgeries for urgent cancer cases, beds available for COVID-19 patients would increase by another 5%. Since recovery rooms are being closed due to a reduction in the number of surgeries, additional beds can become available for COVID-19 patients. In addition, medical wards are discharging patients who have been staying in beds for long periods of time. Families have been required to take home elderly or long-term care patients that are not considered to be at risk of deteriorating health. Rehabilitation wards will also have a reduction of patients due to reduced admissions. Emergency units are experiencing a lower volume of admitted patients due to COVID-19, as people stay safe indoors. Therefore, excess beds in emergency units can be used for COVID-19 patients. Essentially, this would max out a hospital in terms of creating available beds for COVID-19 patients.

To increase availability of ventilators, hospitals can move machines from operating rooms into COVID-19 ICUs and other wards that have been set up for COVID-19 patients. Ventilators from recovery rooms and storage rooms can also be set aside for COVID-19 patients.

In terms of creating space, hospitals have adapted to finding room for an influx of COVID-19 patients. For example, storage areas in hospitals can be converted into additional space for COVID-19 patients. Parking lots with tents can also be used as temporary care spaces. In general, large hospitals are having an easier time converting space compared to small hospitals. In addition, a large majority of outpatient centers will be shut down and can be used to treat COVID-19 patients. Orthopaedic clinics are also closing and the space can be used for COVID-19 patients.

With no clear end to the COVID-19 crisis in sight, the ability of hospitals to free up additional beds, ventilators, and space will determine how many individuals will eventually succumb to the disease.

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Build resilience in the face of COVID-19 disruption

COVID-19 has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities. Are you interested in actionable insights on the business challenges induced by the pandemic? GlobalData's cross-sector report analyzes the significance of this major disruptive theme across industry verticals. It provides side-by-side research of alternative datasets to present you with unique quantitative analysis of the effects of COVID-19 and how these differ across sectors. Additionally, it offers qualitative analysis of each sector and analyzes COVID-19’s impact on leading companies. Whatever your company’s imminent strategic plans, the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 must not be overlooked. Find out how to futureproof your business operations – download our report today.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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