The novel coronavirus poses significant clinical and operational challenges for hospital leaders. As projections about the severity and duration of global and domestic outbreaks evolve, leaders in the U.S. should look to early experiences in China, Italy, and Seattle to prepare.
In each of these geographies, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities saw a rapid surge in diagnosed cases—resulting in a strain on critical care capacity and the health care work force, quick depletion of essential protection and prevention supplies, and growth in the number of avoidable deaths.
How to use this guide
We know that health system leaders are working diligently with their teams to prepare for community outbreak scenarios and to stay up to date on the latest news and guidance. To help hospital leadership teams pressure test the comprehensiveness of their preparedness planning efforts and check for blind spots, we created this scenario planning guide in collaboration with health systems and internal experts.
The document contains 12 potential scenarios that could unfold in a community outbreak with moderate to severe infection rates. Each of these scenarios—which cover impact on capacity, clinicians and staff, finances, and the broader ecosystem—includes a set of questions that leaders can use to engage preparedness planning leaders, taskforces, partners, and other executives to identify potential gaps in strategy. This information should be used as a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, any guidance you receive from federal, state, or local officials.