During this ongoing and unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the news is ever-changing and ever-evolving. Conditions are hard to keep up with, and it’s left many feeling confused and lost in what was already a stressful situation. However, one major headline that has caught the attention of many is a milestone, of sorts. We have now seen over 10,000 deaths due to novel coronavirus and nearly 260,000 cases worldwide. Given that the spread of COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and that talks of a second coronavirus strain are starting to make things more complicated, that death toll is likely to be just another statistic that changes for the worse as we move forward.
Taming the COVID-19 Crisis
Physicians and communities alike are feeling the pressure as the numbers keep worsening and hope seems to be fading. However, a worsening situation does not mean a hopeless one. In fact, there are many actions that can be taken by both the community and physicians on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis that can help us survive this trying time and curb the death toll.
COVID-19 and Community
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of community, in more ways than one. Primarily, the community needs to band together in its commitment to isolation and social distancing wherever possible. Not only is it critical to follow the directions of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and local government officials, but to take further precautions to ensure that this virus is as contained as possible while scientist and researchers work on potential solutions.
Secondarily, it’s critical that communities find ways to connect virtually and through creative means. Those who are able to should check in on the elderly, those who are housebound, and those who may be vulnerable or need supplies and assistance.
Responsible Consumerism During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Additionally, it’s critical for the public to understand that the supply chain can keep up only if people utilize responsible consumerism. Until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, everyone will need to shop online and use delivery services more than usual, meaning a commitment to responsible consumer behavior is necessary to ensure our most vulnerable have everything they need. This measure is also critical to ensure those who are caregivers have access to supplies and resources.
COVID-19 Front Lines: The Challenges for Healthcare Providers
Finally, physicians should take advantage of decision support tools in order to make the most accurate decisions possible in lieu of widespread solutions and treatments. It’s no surprise that even for those who have testing kits, COVID-19 clinical results can take up to two days to come back – even longer in some cases.
Wait time represents critical hours where patients who are likely to be infected are potentially spreading the illness to others. It’s critical to utilize this time wisely and for physicians to empower themselves to take preemptive measures to curb the spread of the illness whenever possible.
Another challenge for physicians dealing with COVID-19 patients is figuring out which patients are at a higher risk of death. To that end, triage tools should be utilized whenever possible.
Surgisphere’s COVID-19 Response Center and Support Tools
Surgisphere has always been committed to doing everything possible to improve the lives of others. That’s why we’ve responded to this ongoing crisis by creating the COVID-19 Response Center. Here, physicians and healthcare providers will find three powerful tools to help them make faster and more accurate decisions during this time.
COVID-19 Decision Support Tool
This support tool exists to help physicians determine the likelihood that a patient has COVID-19. While it’s not a clinical test, it’s incredibly accurate, and can tell physicians which patients should be isolated or treated with precautionary measures while awaiting lab results. By acting on this information and preemptively isolating patients who are likely to be infected, physicians and healthcare providers can curb the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately save lives.
COVID-19 Mortality Risk Calculator
A second tool available internationally at no charge in the COVID-19 Response Center is the Mortality Risk Calculator. This is a risk assessment tool that allows physicians to determine the likelihood that a patient infected with COVID-19 will die. This tool is highly accurate and can facilitate the proper allocation of resources to those patients who need it most. In this way, physicians can make real time decisions that ultimately save lives.
COVID-19 Triage Decision Support Tool
A third challenge facing physicians is knowing how serious a confirmed case of COVID-19 is. Even suspected cases can be hard to classify and treat accordingly based solely on the symptoms that are initially present. This triage support tool, like the others, relies on real time data and machine learning to offer a classification of Routine, Urgent, or Critical. The overall accuracy is 95.5%, and the tool correctly classifies 100% of patients who are critical and require immediate attention.
We’re confident that the more physicians, hospitals, and healthcare providers use these tools, the faster we can make a substantial and positive impact on the COVID-19 crisis. Being able to accurately and efficiently categorize patient symptoms, assess high-risk patients, and conduct triage will lead to countless saved lives and the appropriate mobilization of resources during this unprecedented event.