The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has challenged hospitals and pediatric emergency department (PED) providers to rapidly adjust numerous facets of the care of critically ill or injured children to minimize health care worker (HCW) exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
We aimed to iteratively devise protocols and processes that minimized HCW exposure while safely and effectively caring for children who may require unanticipated aerosol-generating procedures.
As part of our PED's initiative to optimize clinical care and HCW safety during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, regular multidisciplinary systems and process simulation sessions were conducted. These sessions allowed us to evaluate and reorganize patient flow, test and improve communication modalities, alter the process for consultation in resuscitations, and teach and reinforce the appropriate donning and use of personal protective equipment.
Simulation was a highly effective method to disseminate new practices to PED staff. Numerous workflow modifications were implemented as a result of our in situ systems and process simulations. Total number of persons in the resuscitation room was minimized, use of a “command post” with remote providers was initiated, communication devices and strategies were trialed and adopted, and personal protective equipment standards that optimized HCW safety and communication were enacted.
Simulation can be an effective and agile tool in restructuring patient workflow and care of the most critically ill or injured patients in a PED during a novel pandemic.