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Top Line: We’re bringing you more stories from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Study: Today’s advice comes from the University of Washington in Seattle, the epicenter of the first US outbreak. Through their experience over the past month, they—in line with their Italian colleagues—identified three priorities: (1) social distancing, (2) preservation of the healthcare workforce, and (3) conservation of personal protective equipment (PPE). To points one and two, all admin staff and research coordinators are asked to work exclusively from home. Beyond that, a rotating skeleton crew is employed on site each day as necessitated by treatment volume. Patient consultations are done remotely, and new starts for indolent diseases are being postponed. Resident physicians are asked to work from home on all research and non-clinic days, and childcare resources are pooled using volunteer university staff on academic furlough (hey, they’ve gone through background checks). Point three was learned the hard way: 3 months of PPE was exhausted in 3 days at UW. This reiterates the importance of limiting staff contact with patients, including redundant resident visits. Check out figures 1 and 2 for patient screening algorithms and individualized storage of patient immobilization devices.
TBL: You don’t have to start from scratch when reorganizing your clinic workflow for pandemic conditions. | Dinh, Adv Radiat Oncol 2020