COVID 19 | Top of mind – Protecting staff
While COVID-19 meant staying at home for many, healthcare staff stayed at work to fight the virus on the first front. How can healthcare providers protect staff and how can Siemens Healthineers support?
This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on the implications of COVID-19, particularly on workforce and staff. This video is a presentation held during the 2020 European Congress of Radiology (ECR).
So welcome to the session on Cover 19. Top of mind protecting staff. It's the first part of a two part series on the implications of cover 19, particularly on workforce and staff. In today's session we will cover a framework that helps structuring the subject. Sets of initiatives that help protecting staff as well as portfolio elements from Siemens Healthineers available to support you in staff protection. With the rapid distribution of the coronavirus pandemic in many geographies, the dominant strategy was to flatten the curve. Linked to this, particularly was staying home which needed to be applied to by millions. Health care providers, however, were different. For them. It meant staying at work. And not remaining at home. Therefore, top of mind for many health care executives was protecting the staff and it still remains one of the main targets. Obviously the topic is not new to health care providers. However, in the coronavirus pandemic it is particularly pronounced. So let's look at the strategies that we have in hand to reduce nosocomial infections. First, we have here. Health care provider, may it be a diagnostic imaging facility, an ambulatory facility, a hospital, or a set of health care providers. The first strategy was to restrict the access to the facility to minimum, regardless of who it was. Technicians from vendors. Visitors or non urgent patients and restricting meant limiting the number of individuals. The time they remained in the facility. The number of interactions within the facility and the duration of each of the interactions, as well as the movement of individuals on the premises. A dominant strategy in this context was to virtualize interactions and even create, for instance, virtual waiting rooms. Some patients urgent strategies still were allowed to enter the facility. The second strategy was to segregate the facility itself in covered, non covered and unclear compartments. Voters well changed the process of providing care as well as. Installed physical barriers between the different compartments for instant plastic or glass walls. As a third strategy, it's about reducing the staff on site and protecting them where possible. So the first one is look at those individuals who are in the non covered compartments of the provider. Here the typical strategies apply healthcare, hygiene or hand hygiene as well as social distancing for those individuals who are working in either the unclear segment with regards to COVID-19 infection. Or the cover 19 segments. The question is, could they be transferred into remote operations? So virtualized an example here would be for physicians or radiologists to equip their homes with high resolution monitors and allow them to read the images at home instead of the care provider and the final strategy for those individuals on the frontline of COVID-19 Healthcare. The dominant strategy is to utilize. PPE so protect, as well as provide regular testing regimes with regards to if there is an infection. Overall, segregating of teams in onside and offside teams as well as shifts is recommended and once again reducing wherever possible. The amount of staff needed. Having established the framework, let's now go into more details and look at portfolio examples as well. And here let's start with restricting the access to the facility. One point, the virtual virtualizing touch points of is vendors is quite easy to understand. However, sometimes you as a cap provider might want to have the support to enable you still being or having capacity to provide your health care services. And here virtualizing those touch points comes in very useful. It seems healthineers the early on invested in a secure remote infrastructure to connect to our devices as well as. Users that interact with the devices and be able to support them remotely seems remote services comes with our service plans and is available for your support. The next strategy here is assessing the risk of the patients and. Then, an acting appropriate countermeasures with regards to the Cover 19 pandemic. And the portfolio element I want to highlight is for non urgent patients who have acquired the COVID-19 virus's strategy is to encourage them using apps at home. One example in this context is our remote care management solution. For this platform, caregivers and patients can interact remotely. The patient can update his vital signs and symptoms and if needed, swift. Entry into a health care provider can be enabled. Let's go to the next strategy, the middle one, the segregation within the facilities. And then let's start with a section of unclear cover. 19 infection. Here one key strategy is to separate this compartment from the rest of the facility, as well as equipped the personal with PP. In addition with this locations you would want to establish a greater distance between the caregiver and the patient. Here in our CP systems, for instance, the mobile workflow utilizing a tablet allows to remain in a distance of at least 1.5 meters or larger and therefore reduces the likeliness of acquiring an infection. This feature was developed to do exactly the opposite, allow you as a caregiver to stay close to the patient and improve the patient experience. However, in the context of the pandemic, the exact opposite is possible as well. Some of our customers even use the tablet as a remote control, and the technician operating the city will be in a separate room when operating the when operating or establishing the see T workflow. The patient, on the other hand, is accompanied by an ICU board who's geared up in PE. The mobile workflow is available on our CT systems of the summer term goal platform as well as the summer term excite. Big side this on display here at ECR. When we go to the next section within the provider, it's the COVID-19 compartment. Here once again, PP is priority and the paramounts strategy. In addition, depending on the individual situation within the pandemic, you might need to increase capacity with pop up hospitals or pop up care facilities, for instance. Finally, is recommendable to provide dedicated equipment that's mobile on one hand and suitable and easy to be disinfectant to once again, reduce the likeliness of acquiring a COVID-19 infection. In this context, ultrasound has been proven to be a helpful system in evaluating if the lung is involved in the infection, and our freestyle platform is a mobile ultrasound with a mobile or free transducer that can be used in this context. The wireless transducer as well can be easily cleaned and therefore is very helpful in protecting the staff as well as other patients. In addition, in this context you can think of mobile X Ray systems as well as see arms. As the final strategy or the final part of your provider. It's the safe breaking motor settings for the non covid patients and here, particularly in the current stage, with more reopening in more elective casings being admitted to the hospital, the Paramounts strategy is to have high standards of infection control and ensure good process is. The re purposing spaces allows you to utilize the brick and mortar structure as well as the equipment you have at hand and here when thinking for example of city simulators in radiation therapy or your nuclear medicine here the pet see T as well as the SPECT systems they can as well work as see T. Not only simulators but CT machines performing city exams. Biograf vision is one of those examples that is here at EC are at display as well. So let's move to the final strategy, which concerns the staff itself. And here, as we already said, the continuous monitoring and risk assessment is paramount and we covered before hand the remote solution to evaluating COVID-19 patients. This is a strategy or in a solution you can apply for the staff as well. The second measure is to do contract or contact tracing, not only of providers but as well patients and devices and here RF ID tags are a suitable strategy to if an infection happens. Understand who the infected individual has interacted with. Lastly, and even more important. Testing and particularly reliable testing is a paramount strategy. Here our fast track Dino Diagnostics real Time essay helps in understanding if an individual has acquired the virus and therefore is potentially infectious to others. If you move behind the frontline. The question is here, how can we reduce the number of individuals on the frontline and leave the experts behind? This can be done by sharing the knowledge beforehand and therefore empowering frontline employees or making them available as knowledge on call by telephone, video settings, etc. The final opportunity is even more elegant. It is virtualizing workflows recovered in the beginning that for physicians, all radiologists. This is very common already today. Now this is available for technologists as well. They can perform the task of scanning and operating the scanner remotely with syngo virtual cockpit and by this they only need a connection to the Internet as well as a PC or laptop and can steer. Remotely. As if they would be onside. The single virtual cockpit is available here in ECR as well. So finally we covered. Now the strategies, but particularly the strategies that cause physical harm. If you think about emotional harm, this is quite dangerous as well. We do not cover it today, but I want to recommend a thought leadership public publication that has been done by us. It's. Managing caregiver stress and trauma in COVID-19 strategy towards resilience building and it's available in our Insights hub. The same is true for another paper on remote work. Today we did focus particularly on protecting the workforce. However, the benefits of remotely working or making remote work available to caregivers are a lot greater. It's with regards to expanding capacity or improving the efficiency and productivity of your sites. This all is covered in a paper on exactly this topic. Which is available in the transforming category Insights hub and you have here the URL address if you're interested on the response regarding COVID-19 of Siemens healthineers, I recommend to visit our Siemens Healthineers Response Hub where you will get information on how we support you with operational as well as clinical portfolio elements from us as well as additional resources. For example, clear recommendations on this infections or cyantific corner. And overall. Two always as well. During the pandemic, our promise is to enable high value care by expanding precision medicine, transforming the care delivery, and improving patient experience. All of this enabled by Digitalising Healthcare. And by this I want to conclude the presentation and happily welcome any questions from the audience.
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