The pandemic has shaken hospitals across the country. The facilities have braced for massive outbreak, waiting for patients to flood the system and take up all of the sick beds. For months, they have been on edge — the tides could turn in a matter of weeks.
But, the preparation for severe outbreaks isn’t the only thing that’s disrupting the normal hospital workflow. A massive backlog of elective surgeries is also complicating the routine.
The Backlog of Elective Surgeries
As soon as the coronavirus reached Canada, hospitals steeled themselves for outbreaks. Medical professionals had watched countries like Italy struggle with COVID-19’s contagious nature. They saw them panic over packed rooms, missing PPE and a scarcity of life-saving equipment. They didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes.
So, hospitals across Canada urged people to stay away unless it was an emergency. They planned virtual and over-the-phone check-ups instead of in-person visits. And they cancelled thousands of appointments and elective surgeries, pushing them forward to later dates — dates that they hope will be safer.
As of June 2020, approximately 400,000 surgeries have been cancelled or delayed because of the pandemic. Millions more have been cancelled or delayed around the world. As the COVID-19 patient numbers go down and the months go on, hospitals are going to have to handle a massive backlog of surgeries. How can they handle such a massive task?
One way that experts are saying that hospitals can deal with the backlog of elective surgeries is to practice surgical smoothing. Doing surgical smoothing means that hospitals divide up their surgery teams to tackle two different causes: the elective surgery backlog and unplanned emergency patients. That way, hospitals can address emergency cases like patients experiencing cardiac arrest, appendicitis or severe injury without making the backlog even bigger. And the team that’s tackling the delayed elective surgeries can work without interruption.
Coronavirus spread can’t be easily predicted. One week, the number of infections could be moderate — and the next, the infection rate starts to spike and patients flock to the emergency room. Hospitals need to be prepared for the possibility of heavy outbreaks until there is a reliable vaccine available.
One of the best ways to do this is to be careful about reaching capacity levels, whether that’s for scheduled appointments or overnight sickbeds. It’s tempting to handle the backlog quickly by aggressively scheduling appointments to push closer to the end-goal, but that’s risky while the pandemic is still a real threat.
Ideally, hospitals can maintain a steady stream of surgeries to chip away at the numbers while setting aside some room for emergency patients. Adapt your schedule around the possibility of the worst-case scenario, not the best-case.
Reliable Support Systems
Hospitals will need to depend on time sensitive medical courier services to maintain a steady workflow and move through that backlog. Slow deliveries and delays will only add to the backlog. In times like this, you want to use a service that helps everything run smoothly — not one that adds stress and stalls your schedule.
R Courier is here to help you get essentials like surgical equipment, PPE, test samples or documents delivered securely and on-time. If you want to keep a watchful eye on your order, you can click here to see how you can track your shipment and see how close it is to your location. You can also use the online ETA Board to get an accurate prediction of when you can expect your package to arrive. There is no more guesswork.
If that’s not enough reason to start setting up your orders online, you should click here to read why choose us as your regular medical courier service. You won’t be disappointed.
COVID-19 has touched so many factors of regular life, including appointments and surgeries. There are a lot of sick people out there that are waiting for things to return to normal so that they can get treatment. When hospitals invest in the right plans, they can give these patients the help they need.