An optimal surveillance strategy for COVID-19 infection in healthcare workers (HCWs) has yet to be determined.
Weekly screening of HCWs for infection through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing would reduce their contribution to SARS-CoV-2 transmission by approximately one quarter.
Any testing surveillance strategy should be in addition to other strategies already in place to identify symptomatic HCW.
Any strategy needs to take into consideration the availability of testing (i.e. feasibility) and the level of community transmission (i.e. the risk of asymptomatic HCWs entering the facility and spreading the virus).
HCWs could be categorized as high, medium, or low risk based upon their exposure to COVID-19 and the frequency of surveillance could be designed accordingly.
Newaz, S; Lee, S; Reeder, B; Groot, G; Young, C; Fox, L. What surveillance strategy is most effective for COVID-19 testing in healthcare workers? 2020 Nov 10; Document no.: EOC110401 RR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2020. 26 p. (CEST rapid review report)
Physician and nursing staff members can be redeployed from various clinical areas, but in particular non-acute or elective practice areas such as ambulatory settings and surgical practices.
Providing patient-care in new clinical areas can be restructured into a task-based format that utilizes the skills already possessed by redeployed clinicians and staff.
Medical students, residents, internationally trained medical graduates and other health professionals such as respiratory therapists and pharmacists should also be considered for redeployment to high-need areas.
Scope of practice limitations, practice permit approvals and licensing may pose as potential barriers to being able to optimize our healthcare workforce in a surge.
Efficient but effective training should be provided to all staff that have volunteered for redeployment, in preparation of the next surge.
The safety of all health professionals should be ensured throughout the redeployment process.
Radu, L; Badea, A; Groot, G; Fox, L; Howell-Spooner, B; Young, C. What are the existing policies for the re-deployment or deployment of healthcare workers whose regular work has been disrupted by COVID-19 in high-resource clinical settings? 2020 Jul 29; Document no.: EOC072701 RR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2020. 16 p. (CEST rapid review report)