How Healthcare Management Can Stay Productive During COVID-19
Healthcare providers are taking on a huge responsibility during the COVID-19 outbreak. While the rest of us stay home, they are working tirelessly to save lives. As the number of infections continues to rise, it puts pressure on the healthcare systems of many countries. The stress worsens as several medical service providers fall ill as a result of the exposure to the virus. However, despite risking their lives every day, they continue to show their dedication and bravery. While we all know what we should do to help, observing the set guidelines, here is what healthcare management personnel should do to stay productive and organized during this challenging time.
Maintaining Proper Communication
Managing a team successfully, especially during a crisis, calls for constant communication. Information is likely to change at a moment’s call, so you must ensure that the health providers working under your supervision remain well informed at all times. Whether they are in the field, at home, or in the hospital, you must ensure your team stays informed in case of any development.
You can stay in touch through mobile devices. It is highly likely that your team can access their phones even when they are out of their desks; hence they can receive messages effortlessly. Regular communication ensures that the intended personnel receives information promptly and also makes it easier for your team to voice their concerns.
To defeat this virus, we have to work together as a unit; everyone has a critical role to play, and failure to do your part is detrimental to the fight against COVID-19. It is, therefore, essential for healthcare management personnel to enhance collaboration. Enhancing teamwork leads to minimal errors, development of solutions, and a proper flow of processes.
Promoting collaboration also minimizes confusion since every involved party knows their responsibilities and expectations, and that leads to better patient care. It also allows caregivers to communicate with their peers for support and maybe find solutions to ongoing challenges. Collaborating with the local community also enhances the fight against Coronavirus, connect with volunteers through social media, and finding ways to help each other.
Managing Your Stress Levels
Since your team will look up to you for guidance and leadership, for you to perform your duties well, you must deal with your stress and anxiety first. Everyone is feeling a bit anxious right now; however, since you offer the most critical services right now, it would be best if you carry out your responsibilities while calm and collected.
Find ways to manage your stress levels. Take a few minutes to recharge and replenish your energy, take deep breaths, and also lean on others for support. Spending time with your loved ones could also be an excellent way for you to unwind and look forward to tomorrow. Make sure your family and friends stay safe so that you take care of everyone else.
Enforce Safety Guidelines
With over 9000 health care workers infected with COVID-19 in the United States alone, healthcare managers must protect your health care workers in their hospitals. You must adhere to the regulation laid by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Maintain routine precautions for barring droplets, practicing efficient infection prevention measures, and observing environmental hygiene.
Make sure every member of your team uses personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, an N95 respirator, and a face shield. Also, prevent overcrowding in hospital rooms, especially the emergency department, and make sure every arriving patient wears a facemask. Additionally, promote cough etiquette, supply tissues, provide hand washing supplies, and always decontaminate surfaces.
Rapidly triage and separate patients who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 from the general population. Before placing them in quarantine, make sure they stay in a well-ventilated room and ideally located at a minimum distance of 6 feet from the next person. Even without suspicion of Coronavirus infection, healthcare providers must always wear gloves and masks before coming into contact with patients with respiratory diseases.
Encourage your health workers to adhere to these precautions at all times for their protection. Since the virus can survive on surfaces for hours or even days, stress on washing hands, avoiding contaminated surfaces, and cleaning the personal belongings and hospital surfaces well. Make sure they disinfect their stethoscopes, landlines, mobile phones, nametags, keyboards, dictation devices, among others.
Make sure hospital cleaners also perform a thorough cleaning of regularly touched surfaces like countertops, handles, light switches, elevator buttons, chair arms, and doorknobs. It is your responsibility to watch out for the people that work for you and also the patients.
Plan for the Available Personnel and Equipment
With medical professionals having to work more than usual at this time, it is vital that healthcare management personnel plan well to handle the additional pressure. Find out how much resources you have at your disposal, and if you have less to work with, come up with innovative ways to work with what you have to ensure that everything flows smoothly.
Assign the limited resources in an ethical, organized, and rational manner. You should also employ at least one emergency manager and assign an expert in infection prevention to pandemic preparedness on a full-time basis. To allow the hospital workforce to continue working and minimize shortages, seek the services of volunteers to offer in-home care and medical care for sick relatives.
You can use the services of other medical professionals like veterinarians and dentists, individuals with medical experience, and those without but would like to help. However, before you put them to work, conduct comprehensive training.
Provide both the volunteers and health care providers with job-related training on how to prevent the transmission of agents that cause infections before they attend to the patients. Determine which services and procedures require urgent attention and those that can wait so that you can allocate the limited resources appropriately. Although you may be preoccupied with solving the immediate challenges, make sure you also look into the future and prepare for it.
Maintaining efficiency and staying organized during this pandemic will go a long way in ensuring that we emerge victoriously and resume our regular lives.