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health resources, COVID-19, emergency department, coronavirus


Emergency Departments across the world are flooded with patient interactions for a range of reasons, but most significantly amongst them is COVID-19. COVID-19 developed into a global pandemic that was declared in March of 2020 and has affected many people around the world. This disease is causing medical communities to become stressed to the limits while the medical staff is pushed toward burnout. Due to this contagious disease, containment is extremely important and requires a community response that Emergency Departments (ED’s) are unable to organize individually but have a vital role in maintaining. This issue is confounded by the various shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and as a result of this, there has been a lack of preparedness throughout the medical community. The purpose of this project is to identify how the limited resources available are used for COVID-19 patients and how the processes could be improved. Through surveys of rural Emergency Department practitioners in the Midwest, perspectives of the immediate and prolonged impact of COVID-19 were analyzed. Instances of personnel or equipment shortages were evident throughout the survey results. These issues are not limited to the Midwest, as health systems nationwide have reported similar findings. We approached solutions through evidence-based research and case studies from other parts of the country as well as internationally. Although situational circumstances can cause variations in the effectiveness of implementing universal precautions, any steps taken towards improving patient outcomes and personnel satisfaction will provide benefits beyond the “new normal”. Overall, this study will look at the implications of the measures that have been taken to provide safe and quality care, as well as explore the possibility of future solutions to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

First Advisor

Jewel Goodman Shepherd

Research Area

Health Services Administration