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COVID-19, emergency departments, pandemic, coronavirus


Emergency departments are known for being misused due to a number of reasons such as patients having limited access to primary care services, having convenient hours, and offering immediate attention to medical conditions. The emergency services original mission was to provide trauma and emergency care for patients who were at a high immediate risk of losing their life or potentially suffering from permanent damage to their health. The COVID-19 pandemic that started in December of 2019 has added additional pressure and has continued to overwhelm the emergency departments even more. The United States has reported the highest number of infections and deaths due to COVID-19. Emergency departments are often the frontlines for healthcare organizations that assist to triage, isolate, and care for COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 has forced emergency departments to be innovative and adaptable in order to handle the challenges presented with this crisis. Our Health Services Resources Strategic Management Plan for improving operations of the emergency department will cover workflows, technology, communication, and best practices to ensure the emergency services line operates efficiently and effectively. Emergency departments must be properly prepared and managed in order to efficiently and effectively respond to the outbreak. As the purpose and role of emergency services has evolved over the years, we expect the emergency department usage trend to continue upward with increased complexity due to the current pandemic. Utilizing the recommended methods in our plan will improve usage of emergency departments in a way that will result in cost reduction, decreased wait time, minimize or eliminate fragmented care, reduced COVID-19 exposure risk, and promote good stewardship of resources.

First Advisor

Jewel Shepherd

Research Area

Health Services Administration