With this surge in COVID-19 cases, we expect a repeat of the 2020 scenario in terms of needs and requirements and challenges, however, the way of handling could be improved over the previous year, thanks to the first hand experience in 2020!
Upsurge in COVID will definitely lead to the high demand of additional beds (plus all connecting clinical amenities with a medical bed), required for clinical care of a patient, and as the scientific predictions suggest, 2021 will be worse than 2020.
Major part of this prediction is originating from the fact that, people are low on fear factor compared to last year, meaning lesser usage of precautions and PPEs hence leading to faster and more rapid case multiplication. And we all are witnessing just the same!
So, the demand for clinical infrastructure will be unavoidable. Hence the need for more patient beds, monitors, infusion pumps, and oxygen (cylinders/liquid), will be again high like in 2020. So will be the need for supplies of essential medicines required for COVID treatment, as these will become key elements for free availability, which was a challenge last year.
Thus, we do have our set of expectations from authorities that they ensure its availability so that the time and energy lost in arranging these vital elements is rather saved to focus on our main job, i.e. patient care.
An equally bigger challenge is going to be the clinical manpower availability. While the equipment, medicines can still be manufactured at a faster rate, the clinical manpower cannot be created overnight, it has its own time requirement, hence we fear this demand and supply curve getting severely disordered.
Coming to manpower challenge, other than requirement for more manpower owing to the surge in number of patients, there will be another challenge in the form of keeping the existing staff motivated. Good part is that, we were quite successful in ensuring our teams remain motivated in the last year’s pandemic scenario hence our processes, our strategy for keeping our teams calm and high on motivation are very much in place.
One new vertical that had gotten its rebirth, rather the value realization, during 2020 COVID outburst, was teleconsultation, and online consultation. Though in existence since many years, its usefulness surfaced during COVID times only! Although this medium’s utilization had declined as the COVID had come down in last couple of months, our systems and processes have been very much in place and we are ready to again show our mastery at this as well.
Amidst the COVID wave, somewhere the care of non-COVID patients may also get impacted, since this category of patients will be uncomfortable to come to those hospitals which would have COVID patients, for the fear of catching the infections. And we did see this happening last year too.
However, as an organization, we are fortunate to have enough separate routes and accesses to our non-COVID patients, right from entry till exit/OPD etc, that there will be zero intermixing with COVID patients hence causing no chance of a cross infection.
At the same time, this aspect becomes a challenge for those institutes who do not have such enough infrastructure support.
Hence, overall, barring the elements that are not in our hands (enough supplies of medicines, medical supplies, equipment), we are quite optimistic and prepared to handle our COVID patients, and at the same, time our non-COVID patients, with a no chance of a cross infection between the two. Quite optimistic that we will pass through this test too with flying colors, and as they say, this too shall pass ….!