Urgent Care Recommendations for Volume Surges – Q1 2023

Advanced planning for surges in Urgent Care volume should occur on both clinical and administrative levels. This planning should be done with protocols developed and be ready to be activated when needed.

Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic should be incorporated into future surge and disaster planning. 

Clinical staff are critical during volume surges.  Infection prevention is essential to reduce sick calls. Re-education in proper protocols for handwashing and use of personal protective equipment should be encouraged. All staff should be current on vaccinations.  Mental health support should be available for all employees as needed.

Clinicians need to remember that not all patients presenting for care will be afflicted with the surge illness(es).  Careful assessment of chief complaints, vital signs, past medical history, and physical findings are essential to identify outlying illnesses.

Telehealth can be a valuable tool for certain patient groups during volume surges.

Operators and providers should be aware of any regulatory requirements for emergency credentialing privileges to bolster staffing.

Social media should be utilized to communicate infection prevention information, proper usage of healthcare facilities, and pertinent updates to the public.

Guidelines for the conservation of critical resources, such as personal protective equipment, antimicrobial medications, oxygen, and test materials, should be implemented.

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