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The COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation’s capital hard with some of the highest rates of new infections. The Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Administration (HEPRA) of the DC Department of Health had emergency plans in place but needed help strengthening their incident management response and identifying any opportunity for increased capacity for the 10 acute care hospitals.
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The Problem

Before the coronavirus crisis began, HEPRA had approximately 3,200 licensed beds available in the district. The district’s Incident Management Team needed to accommodate additional patient volume and prepare for a surge of patients, which would strain hospital capacity. In addition, the pandemic had disrupted the continuum of care across the healthcare system of the District of Columbia and they needed a coordinated COVID-19 response across the continuum.

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The Solution

We partnered with HEPRA to provide Incident Management Team support that helped to develop a coordinated COVID-19 response across the continuum of care. We helped to identify their capabilities and implement a more integrated care across different components of the healthcare system – including hospitals, LTCs and home health. Our team also conducted a surge capacity assessment in 10 hospitals, including specific rooms or areas within departments, which provided surge capacity capabilities, along with some of the specific steps and some noted resources necessary to accomplish a surge.

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The Results

Through our surge capacity services, we proactively found 1,600+ additional potential beds across all care types in the hospitals. As a result, they were able to keep patient care within the hospitals and did not have to utilize the alternative care sites. We are also supporting their recovery strategies in returning to a “new normal,” and aiding their planning efforts to better prepare to respond to the next emergency. With our continued work with long term care facilities, we have been able to help HEPRA and the facilities understand and better prepare for events impacting the healthcare community.