The second wave of COVID-19 has forced healthcare workers at William Osler Health Systems to come up with quick, yet practical solutions to problems that continue to mount.
With no past practises or playbook to follow, medical personnel have been relying on insight and instinct, as well as the experience they gained during the first wave to as prove the old axiom that necessity is the mother of invention.
One such innovation that emerged in the first wave at Etobicoke General Hospital is now being regularly used in the system and was developed when rising COVID cases were putting the emergency department into a gridlock situation.
“COVID’s many challenges have required us to think about our resources differently, to work together differently,” explains Dr. Aiden Moktassi, Interim Chief and Medical Director, Diagnostic Imaging in a story published on Williams Osler’s website. “While we’ve always prided ourselves on innovation, this pandemic has taken us to a whole new level.”
Recognizing the inherent risks in overcrowding, the team immediately pulled together to find an unorthodox – and effective – solution. Knowing that COVID-positive patients often present with a common set of symptoms, they engaged their diagnostic imaging resources to offer low-dose CT scans, the story explains.
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Although the scan can’t detect the virus, the images produced can help doctors determine how likely a patient may have COVID-19 based on symptoms and medical history.
The process allows for more effective assessments that can determine isolation and treatment, measures that can control the spread of the disease. It also lets staff free up needed space as the patients are moved into appropriate treatment areas. Ultimately, it is helping to treat patients during this second wave.
“This was truly an ‘all hands on deck’ approach,” Aimee Langan, Director, Diagnostic Imagining and Laboratory Services notes in the story. “Two technologists, the Diagnostic Imaging manager, a CT supervisor and even a dedicated porter came in from home to help ensure the process went smoothly. From hospital leadership to the frontlines, everyone was working together to make this as safe, effective and seamless as possible for our patients.”