Canadian hospitals normally operate on the principle of providing care to as many people as possible as efficiently as possible. That won’t be the case in a post-COVID world where the emphasis has to continue to be on physical distancing and proper use of Personal Protective equipment. With that in mind, St. Joe’s is designing a new framework to guide a safe and measured return to clinical work. This planning process is being led Dr. Anthony Adili, Chief of Surgery, and Anne Marie MacDonald, Director of Surgical Services and Site Director Charlton Site.
A staff memo reads, “the most important element in the plan is that, for the foreseeable future, we must move from a clinical operation based on maximum throughput and efficiency to one of lower volume and physical distancing in order to ensure patient and staff safety. This fundamental change in outlook means that we can no longer do almost everything all the time. Instead, we now must consider the clinical and ethical implications of being limited by a whole range of pandemic factors, among them PPE availability, physical distancing, urgency of the patient’s clinical need, on-going screening and testing for COVID-19 and a significant change in the hospital experience for patients and families.”
Add to that, the fact that government still requires all hospitals to maintain their COVID surge capacity until there is more certainty that a second wave of infection will not develop.