NYMC Faculty Publications

Creation of a Medical Ward from Non-Clinical Space Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

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Environmental Health Science


INTRODUCTION: Hospitals were mandated to dramatically increase capacity during the Covid-19 crisis in New York City. Conversion of non-clinical space into medical units designated for Covid-19 patients became necessary to accommodate this mandate.

METHODS: Non-clinical space was converted into medical units at multiple campuses of a large academic hospital system over 1 week. The conversion required construction to deliver basic care including oxygen supplementation. Creation of provider workspaces, handwashing areas, and colour-coded infection control zones was prioritized. Selection criteria were created with a workflow to determine appropriate patients for transfer into converted space. Staffing of converted space shifted as hospitalizations surged.

RESULTS: The unit was open for 18 days and accommodated 170 unique patients. Five patients (2.9%) required transfer to a higher level of care. There were no respiratory arrests, cardiac arrests, or deaths in the new unit.

CONCLUSION: Converting non-clinical space to a medical unit was accomplished quickly with staffing, workflow for appropriate patients, few patients who returned to a higher level of care, and no respiratory or cardiac arrests or deaths on the unit.