Field hospitals have long been used to extend health care capabilities in times of crisis. In response to the pandemic and an anticipated surge in patients, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced a plan to create three field hospitals, or "alternate hospital sites" (AHS), totaling 1,000 beds, in order to expand the state's hospital capacity. Following China's Fangcang shelter hospital model, the Lifespan AHS (LAHS) planning group attempted to identify existing public venues that could support rapid conversion to a site for large numbers of patients at a reasonable cost. After discussions with many stakeholders - pharmacy, laboratory, healthcare providers, security, emergency medical services, and infection control - design and equipment recommendations were given to the architects during daily teleconferencing and site visits. Specific patient criteria for the LAHS were established, staffing was prioritized, and clinical protocols were designed to facilitate care. Simulations using 4 different scenarios were practiced in order to assure proper patient care and flow, pharmacy utilization, and staffing.
R I Med J (2013) (Rhode Island medical journal (2013))
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