PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The mood at local hospitals? Cautious.
As the number of patients with coronavirus increases, hospitals will have to grapple with a number of issues.
Which patients to test when there is a limited testing capability?
How to keep patients in isolation while waiting for test results?
How to maintain supplies of masks and gowns?
How thoroughly cleaning equipment, such as CT scanners, affects the flow in radiology?
How to handle the testing of health care workers?
“This sort of thing is going to raise some anxiety among the staff. [We’re] trying to give then the appropriate supplies and gear they need to stay safe,” says Dr. Ray Pontzer, an infectious diseases specialist at UPMC. “I don’t know if we’re going to have enough. We’ll have to make adjustments on the fly.”
Some hospitals use a committee of doctors, nurses and other experts to determine which patients need to be tested the most, based on symptoms and exposures.
Dr. Pontzer also says as we learn more about the virus, hospitals could possibly ease up on isolation procedures.
Another measure hospitals will have to consider is barring visitors altogether.
Once we have established community spread, hospitals may adopt a no visitors policy.