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Establishing a COVID-19 treatment centre in Israel at the initial stage of the outbreak: challenges, responses and lessons learned

Abstract

Anticipating the need for a COVID-19 treatment centre in Israel, a designated facility was established at Sheba Medical Center—a quaternary referral centre. The goals were diagnosis and treatment of patients with COVID-19 while protecting patients and staff from infection and ensuring operational continuity and treatment of patients with non-COVID. Options considered included adaptation of existing wards, building a tented facility and converting a non-medical structure. The option chosen was a non-medical structure converted to a hospitalisation facility suited for COVID-19 with appropriate logistic and organisational adaptations. Operational principles included patient isolation, unidirectional workflow from clean to contaminated zones and minimising direct contact between patients and caregivers using personal protection equipment (PPE) and a multimodal telemedicine system. The ED was modified to enable triage and treatment of patients with COVID-19 while maintaining a COVID-19-free environment in the main campus. This system enabled treatment of patients with COVID-19 while maintaining staff safety and conserving the operational continuity and the ability to continue delivery of treatment to patients with non-COVID-19.

  • disaster planning and response
  • global health
  • infectious diseases
  • viral
  • major incident
  • planning

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