Surge Response Modules
Whether it is an epidemic, mass health examinations, or an H1N1 flu shot drive causing a hike in patient volume, it is an accepted fact that 'Surge' is a very complex issue to deal with.
When experiencing a surge, the efficient use of space, staffing, and material resources become the constraints for the system. Surge Response Modules provide a three-fold solution consisting of Space management panels, Activity Execution Station, and a Decision support system to overcome these challenges.
The recent spread of the H1N1 virus through the country and all over the world, triggered a sudden rise in the patient volumes at several emergency departments. Hospitals coped with the surge by devising stringent plans to segregate flu affected patients from those present to get treatment for other ailments. The best hospitals learned that being prepared ensured the best utilization of resources, safe treatment and a higher quality of care.
Surge Response Modules aim at extending this preparedness to the surges experienced at On Site Health Centers(OHC). OHC's primarily deal with various kinds of health examinations, and vaccination drives. The difficulty in handling such surge lies in using limited space, effectively predicting the number and types of resources that would be required, and managing the system without excessive delays, waiting times, and other such waste.
Surge Response Module consist of the following three components to handle surge.
Space Management Panels
Current space divider solutions consists of curtains, and a range of room dividers primarily meant for office spaces. The problem with these is that they either do not offer the desired level of visual privacy, turn out too expensive to be stored for rare occasions or are designed for office spaces where issues such as infection control, and flexibility are not primary concerns.
The Space Management Panels are designed taking into consideration the unique requirements of Health Centers and possess the following features:
a) Interlocking panels: Facilitate division of space(one room, hall, etc) into single, double, three or multiple stations.
b) Fold over property: Facilitate a panel to act as a divider over a table, panel fold is situated at standard table height.
c) Acoustic properties- Three layered panels, with central felt layer to dampen sound.
d) Complete visual privacy ensured for diverse surge instances .
e) Visual Signage System: eliminates need for calling out patients names, indicates status of station, reduces administrative needs. Allows effective communication through visible and easily understandable lighting scheme.
Image 1.Privacy Screen Design, Image 2. Top View of Different Panel Set ups
Activity Execution Station
The station at which the activity( Vaccination, check up, etc) is conducted by medical professionals, should incorporate the following design features:
a) Ability to stock multiple supplies
b) Easy access to medical staff during operation time
c) Easy to transport
An Activity execution station for vaccinations which possess these design principles is available through Vericor Medical Systems.
“Protect your staff and family members. The Vaccination Station is complete with all the vital medical supplies required to vaccinate 5,000 people. This system features pre-packaged and organized wheeled custom case workstation (pictured) for easy deployment and immediate prophylaxis. All cases and drawers are numerically labeled and color- coded making this system easy to manage.” Vericor Medical Systems
Decision Support System
Effective planning and execution can be done with through web based decision support systems. These have the following features:
a) Registration Kiosks pull electronic records from database
b) Automated screening process
c) Patient data stored at server
d) Helps estimate different variables like number of people, cost, time, space and staffing.
e) Previous data shown while planning to help estimation
Sample Room Layout
Scott Gilliland, MS Computer Science, Rupal Deshmukh, MS Industrial Engineering
Siddharth Gupta, MS Human Computer Interaction, Sunandha Gunaleesan MS Health Systems