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Learning from the first wave: Lessons about managing patient flow and resource utilization on medical wards at providence health during the COVID-19 pandemic

The St. Paul's Hospital site on Burrard Street in Vancouver is among the most endangered sites in Vancouver, according to a local preservation group (Photo credit: Global News)
The St. Paul's Hospital site on Burrard Street in Vancouver is among the most endangered sites in Vancouver, according to a local preservation group (Photo credit: Global News)

ABSTRACT

We report the successful implementation of a modified Traffic Control Bundling (TCB) protocol called “Red, Yellow and Green” on the inpatient medical units at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada during the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The modified TCB protocol demonstrates an important example on how hospitals can rapidly reorganize operational and clinical processes to reallocate existing capacity to minimize exposure, improve traffic flow and reduce nosocomial transmissions of COVID-19 to health care workers (HCWs) and other patients. Preliminary evidence demonstrates the benefits on how an existing facility can be redesigned for adjustable ward capacity to provide disease containment under a context of uncertainty of disease transmission and varying patient load. Important lessons in preparation for the evolution of the pandemic fall into categories of risk management, capacity and demand management.

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