What was the effect of COVID 19 on hospitals?
In general, this depended on several factors: large vs small hospitals, public vs private institutions, general vs specialist hospitals. In particular, the designation of a hospital as a COVID centre i.e. accepting admissions of COVID 19 patients via the emergency department and referrals from other hospitals had a major effect on IR departments working in these hospitals.
Whichever type of hospital, most institutions significantly changed their way of working. To manage the opposing demands of positive/suspected COVID 19 patients versus non COVID 19 patients and the protection of hospital staff and the public, major changes were undertaken in standard operating procedures. Many hospitals divided up into COVID positive and negative areas. In many cases staff were also divided up into those working in COVID areas and non COVID areas and were not allowed to cross over from one area to the other, either on the same day or in some cases weeks at a time. All medical leave was cancelled in most hospitals, although as most countries were in Lockdown, there was nowhere to go, even if leave could be taken.
The topic of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the lack of adequate supply affected many hospitals in many countries. Similarly, the relative lack of intensive care (ICU) facilities and ventilators were a worldwide phenomenon.