1. Hospitals need to transform fasterHospitals were already evolving before COVID-19. In fact, many of the practices they’ve recently employed helped them manage a deluge of critically ill patients.
But some challenges were unexpected. During the surge, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Beth Israel Lahey Health in Boston overcame supply shortages by using in-house 3D-printers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as swabs to collect samples for COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
With the surge clearing in some areas of the country, hospitals are working toward normalcy.
“Now, instead of preparing for the surge, we’re trying to figure out how to bring elective procedures back” by making the facility as safe as possible for patients and staff, said Mark Wehde, chair of the Mayo Clinic’s division of engineering. They’ll need to find new ways to cycle air supply in hospital rooms more quickly for patient turnover, source necessary PPE, and spread out patient appointments to keep people out of waiting rooms and avoid overcrowding.
In addition, hospitals may decide to commit more of their capital expenditures to equipment that make them more resilient in the future rather than build larger facilities.