Hospital Preparedness for COVID-19

Coronavirus

As health officials continue to warn of COVID-19 and its inevitable expansion around the globe, hospital preparedness for the disease has taken on an exceptional urgency. That is due as much to the dangers the disease poses to human health—and how rapidly it’s spreading—as to whether or not healthcare facilities and communities can be ready in time for the potential of a severe outbreak.

The projections of where COVID-19 is heading can be overwhelming and confusing; as there is a lot of misinformation out there. However, STARC Systems believes that understanding what coronavirus is and how to deal with it is an important first step in containing it. For the overwhelming majority of humans, COVID-19 (a coronavirus) can cause mild respiratory infections similar to a common cold. However, for older or immune-deficient or weakened populations, it can lead to more serious, severe, and even fatal respiratory illnesses.

Why Hospital Preparedness is Critical to Mitigating Spread 

How is COVID-19 transmitted? The virus is transmitted much like a common cold is, from person-to-person through the release of respiratory droplets from the mouth and nose of an infected person—sneezing, coughing, shaking hands or touching infected surfaces like door handles. In fact, the best prevention in stopping the spread or from catching the disease is to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

What are strategies to slow COVID-19 “community spread”? On a practical level, quarantine for entire communities could be too much of a challenge, but steps can be taken to mitigate the “community spread” of the coronavirus throughout the general population. As a response, communities can act to limit interactions amongst people. This could mean closing schools for a period of time, canceling or postponing large public gatherings, events or functions, or where applicable, businesses can allow people to work from home.

The sudden emergence of COVID-19, combined with the rapid increase in cases of the disease, has created a public health emergency. Community and hospital preparedness for stopping the spread of COVID-19 will depend in large part on how quickly and effective a strategy of mitigation and infection control can be implemented.

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Rapid Response to Patient Isolation 

Hospital preparedness to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and infectious diseases requires strategic planning. Part of these very detailed infection control plans includes respiratory protection programs that include environmental controls and patient isolation. When a suspected infected person enters a hospital that person must be isolated promptly to prevent unnecessary exposure or direct contact with other patients, visitors, staff, and healthcare personnel.

What is an anteroom for isolation? Isolation is a critical component in infection control protocol and procedure. Infected persons must be placed in airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) or anteroom to contain the virus. In most instances, hospitals meet infection and isolation protocols on a case-by-case basis, gradually. 

  • But what happens if too many people in a given area need medical care at once? 
  • What happens when the waiting room begins to fill up? 
  • And the need for AIIRs grows?

For a rapid response, STARC Systems offers isolation room kits—innovative temporary containment solutions that exceed infection control protocols. The systems present an ideal solution as hospitals and healthcare facilities prepare and anticipate patient arrivals with very little warning. The installation of STARC’s AIIR and isolation anterooms provide healthcare centers with a necessary critical component to contain the further spread of COVID-19 to other patients, staff, and healthcare personnel.

Instant Isolation: Anywhere, Anytime 

STARC’s isolation room kits feature modular wall panels to provide hospital and healthcare facilities with AIIRs compliant spaces to treat patients. The system can be deployed rapidly—a 10′ x 10′ room can be set-up in 10-15 minutes. The panels are simple interlocking components that, once assembled, provide isolation and containment rooms that exceed ICRA Class IV and ASTM E-84 requirements. The RealWall™ and LiteBarrier™ panels come in six size ranges and have negative air capable solutions in the event of rapid deployment and flexible configuration options for quick isolation of a patient. STARC systems are completely customizable depending on the need and can be reconfigured or expanded as well.

Make STARC AIIR Deployment Part of Your Infection Control Plan 

STARC Systems offers expertise in containment solutions which can help hospitals implement infection control protocols. STARC recognizes we are all in a time of uncertainty, with health officials having warned that, “It’s not a matter of if, but when,” COVID-19 will arrive in a community. Hopefully, it will ease in, come in waves over a longer period of time. This would allow communities and society, in general, to remain functional. It also gives hospitals and healthcare facilities the time needed to readily prepare for isolation of infected patients, and for those patients to receive proper treatment as needed.

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