Advisory Board, in partnership with Medtronic, recently held a webinar to discuss lessons learned from Covid-19 on a global scale and strategies to respond to future surges. If you missed the live session, here are three takeaways to help prepare for Covid-19’s “second wave”:
1. Don’t expect the “second wave” of Covid-19 to repeat the first.
The virus path will look different in terms of patient makeup, geographic hot spots, and shortages. For instance, the first wave of Covid-19 largely affected middle-aged and older adults, whereas the “second wave” is mainly affecting younger adults. Additionally, we initially worried about urban bed capacity and PPE. Now, the main concern is rural bed capacity and staffing shortages. Health systems will need to shift their attention and resources to support these new focus areas.
2. Flu season in the Northern Hemisphere may not overwhelm hospitals as expected, but providers should remain vigilant about increasing flu vaccination rates.
Public health officials have expressed concern about the flu season’s impact on existing Covid-19 challenges. However, countries in the Southern Hemisphere have shown record low rates of influenza toward the end of their season likely due to high vaccination rates and widespread public health measures. Northern Hemisphere countries can similarly increase vaccination rates by shifting vaccination efforts to churches or pharmacies or even incentivizing the public through reduced costs.
3. Hospitals who embrace systemness and technology can respond to Covid-19 outbreaks in an agile manner.
Covid-19 has forced health systems to coordinate more effectively across their care sites and find innovative ways to treat Covid-19 patients and handle surges. Below are three examples of organizations who function as coordinated systems:
- Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore uses AI analytics and an Operational Command Center to track the real-time location of Covid-19 patients, distribute resources, manage patient flow, and allocate beds efficiently.
- Nationally-run health care systems have designated Covid-specific hospitals to limit spread and effectively allocate their care sites.
- US health care systems are partnering across sites within their network (i.e., hospitals, primary care providers, and post-acute providers) to coordinate and protect vulnerable populations.
More in the series
While the finish line is still a vaccine, it will take a global approach to eradicate Covid-19. Advisory Board and Medtronic have partnered to deliver a series of webinars for hospital administrators specific to Covid-19 that you can access here. View the July and October webinars on-demand and register for the December 2, 2020, and January 13, 2021, scheduled webinars.
Slide deck: What we've learned from the global response to Covid-19
Download the full slide deck from our recent webinar where we look at the successes, short-comings, and key outstanding questions hospital administrators need to answer to sustain themselves into the future.