Short Report - Special Collection: COVID-19

Emergency centre reorganization in preparation to the COVID-19 pandemic: A district hospital’s dynamic adaptation response

Phillip P. Furstenburg, Suzan N. Mukonkole, Crispin N. Kibamba, Ashley Kuiler, Nondumiso Ngemntu, Sa’ad Lahri, Daniël J. van Hoving, Kitesh Moodley, Elaine Erasmus
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2514 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2514 | © 2020 Phillip P. Furstenburg, Suzan N. Mukonkole, Crispin N. Kibamba, Ashley Kuiler, Nondumiso Ngemntu, Sa’ad Lahri, Daniël J. van Hoving, Kitesh Moodley, Elaine Erasmus | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 May 2020 | Published: 16 September 2020

About the author(s)

Phillip P. Furstenburg, Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khayelitsha Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
Suzan N. Mukonkole, Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khayelitsha Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
Crispin N. Kibamba, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Ashley Kuiler, Department of Critical Care Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Western Cape College of Nursing, Cape Town, South Africa
Nondumiso Ngemntu, Department of Critical Care Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Western Cape College of Nursing, Cape Town, South Africa
Sa’ad Lahri, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Daniël J. van Hoving, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Kitesh Moodley, Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khayelitsha Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
Elaine Erasmus, Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khayelitsha Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

The COVID-19 global pandemic forced healthcare facilities to put special isolation measures in place to limit nosocomial transmission. Cohorting is such a measure and refers to placing infected patients (or under investigation) together in a designated area. This report describes the physical reorganisation of the emergency centre at Khayelitsha Hospital, a district level hospital in Cape Town, South Africa in preparation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The preparation included the identification of a person under investigation (PUI) room, converting short stay wards into COVID-19 isolation areas, and relocating the paediatric section to an area outside the emergency centre. Finally, we had to divide the emergency centre into a respiratory and non-respiratory side by utilising part of the hospital’s main reception. We are positive that the preparation and reorganization of the emergency centre will limit nosocomial transmission during the expected COVID-19 surge. Our experience in adapting to COVID-19 may have useful implications for ECs throughout South Africa and in low-and-middle income countries that are preparing for this pandemic.

Keywords

emergency centre; COVID-19; pandemic; district hospital; Cape Town

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