Managing hand and reconstructive microsurgery service during COVID-19 pandemic: Singapore experience

Usama Farghaly Omar, Tong Pei Yein, Vaikunthan Rajaratnam
2020 Postgraduate medical journal  
IntroductionManaging healthcare service during pandemics and outbreaks is a challenging process. The aim is to keep patient safety as the priority, besides, continuing to provide essential healthcare services.MethodsSituational audit was performed for the services rendered before and during COVID-19 pandemic and the elevation of the disease alert status, and a retrospective analysis of the attendance and procedures performed in the service.ResultsWe present a methodology for performing a
more » ... onal audit and generating service modification for hand and reconstructive microsurgery unit in a pandemic. There was no significant difference between the number of patients seen at outpatient clinics. However, there was a reduction in the numbers of total surgeries performed, with a 40% drop in the number of elective surgeries performed. There was also a reduction of cases seen in the emergency department hand clinic.DiscussionCOVID-19 pandemic is currently affecting not only the health service but also, other vital services all over the world. The pandemic puts significant challenges to acute surgical services in a hospital system involved in the management of the pandemic. Surgeons need to take proactive and a systematic approach in managing the available resources while maintaining essential surgical services. This paper provides the tools and methodology for doctors to plan their services in a pandemic situation.ConclusionsIt is possible to maintain essential surgical services in a pandemic situation through rapid situational audits and generating localised strategies while considering the constraints imposed during the pandemics while maintaining patient and staff safety.
doi:10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-137735 pmid:32522845 pmcid:PMC7316107 fatcat:lrsrjyohjvgztoidlx4ox7jl3u