COVID-19 Acute care surgery response plan
There is a need for increased health workforce capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while minimizing exposure to the virus.
In an effort to keep in mind a prolonged surge of COVID-19 patients, the following Surgery Department COVID-19 Response Plan was created. A few key points from the plan :
- Minimize clinic visits by screening of patients by nursing for urgent visits to present to clinic, all other managed with calls or telehealth evaluation
- Reallocation of surgical residents, research residents, to ICU and trauma rotations as drawdown on elective cases proceeds
- All residents redistributed to ICU, EGS, trauma rotations once Level 1 is activated.
-Older faculty focused toward trauma population and virtual care (virtual clinic or virtual ICU) rather than ICU
  • Cross-sector staff deployments
  • Telehealth/virtual care
  • Alternative deployments for health workers with underlying health conditions
  • Alternative deployments for health workers whose normal duties are temporarily suspended
  • Physicians - Specialists
  • Other Health Care Workers
Atrium Health is one of the largest, integrated, public, not-for-profit healthcare systems in the US, compromising more than 7,500 licensed beds, employing nearly 70,000 people, and accounting for more than 12 million patient encounters.

Based on lessons from history, those already learned in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the following principles were used to create a tiered response plan for use in surgery departments throughout the US. Led by our division of acute care surgery (ACS) in coordination with emergency management and other stakeholders, this plan has been developed for, and is being disseminated through, our department of surgery and throughout all surgical subspecialties at all our facilities.
  • Hospitals
  • Urban/Suburban
costs, training, or HIPPA-related concerns, may limit the ability to rapidly upload and use these platforms for virtual visits
Formal Strategy
Ross, S. W., et al.(2020). Maximizing the Calm before the Storm: Tiered Surgical Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 230(6), 1080-1091.e3.
Samuel Wade Ross
Carolinas Medical Center
United States
Published Literature

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