Medical Surge: Lessons for a Pandemic from Mass-Casualty Management
Health Management, Policy, and Innovation, volume 5, issue 1, special issue on COVID-19, March 2020.
Posted: 17 Mar 2020 Last revised: 15 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 13, 2020
Three steps that hospitals can take today to prepare for COVID-19 or any similar pandemic are (i) limit predictable variability by cancelling or smoothing elective surgeries in advance of an epidemic’s impact rather than waiting until inpatient units are overwhelmed, (ii) centralize staffing, resource-planning, and allocation decisions, while employing healthcare coalitions to quantify and locate scarce resources like ICU beds and ventilators, and (iii) prepare a plan for triage guided by the principle “do the greatest good for the greatest number”.
Keywords: pandemic, mass-casualty incident, operations management
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation