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emergency department, COVID-19, COVID, patients, health


The COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States with fear, stress, and health complications. While some patients who contract COVID-19 require hospitalizations, many have a mild illness that can be managed at home. However, many patients seek emergency department care feeling they have nowhere else to go in a time of need. This can put stress on health systems. Many health systems experienced shortages in equipment, personal protective equipment, and staff. One health care facility, Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital, found success in limiting inappropriate emergency department visits for COVID-19 patients by implementing a strong at home monitoring program, offering outpatient infusions, giving patients access to virtual visits, and providing continuous public education via social media. For health care facilities to effectively determine the needs of their organization, they must assess opportunities for improvement, enact measures, and set goals appropriate to the findings. Followed by implementation of best practices to improve care and meet the needs of the population. Health systems have had to redesign their care models to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health response of prevention and education, combined with continuous improvements, outpatient monitoring, and therapeutic intervention can limit unnecessary emergency department visits.

First Advisor

Jewel Shepherd

Research Area

Health Services Administration