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Healthcare / Critical care

COVID-19 tool to help US hospitals find hotels that can provide extra capacity

By Andrew Sansom 27 Mar 2020 0

As part of its response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Center for Health Design in the US has developed a new tool to help match hospitals in urgent need of space for a variety of functions with hotels that have excess capacity.

All across the United States, there is an urgent need for safe, clean and immediately available accommodation that can be used either in its current state or adapted to provide much needed capacity for a variety of hospital needs.

MakingRoom is a new website resource created to provide hospitals and other care providers with a forum to communicate their space needs. It can also be used by hotels and others with multi-unit or high-occupancy residential facilities to indicate their capacity and willingness to respond to these urgent needs.
Hospitals can access the website to post a space need or availability on the Center’s open-access database. They need to fill out an online form indicating the types of spaces they’re seeking. These include:

  • Triage/testing: rooms for people who may have flu-like symptoms and are waiting to be seen by medical staff and be tested;
  • Confirmed low-acuity quarantine rooms: rooms for patients who have been confirmed with COVID-19 and do not need acute medical care, but do need to self-quarantine themselves away from family or others;
  • Hospital staff respite: rooms for hospital staff who, owing to the nature of their work, need to self-quarantine away from family or others.
  • Acute COVID-19 surge: rooms to care for confirmed patients in need of medical care.
  • Recovery space: rooms for low-acuity patients who have tested negative for COVID19 but are recovering from procedure or surgery unrelated to the novel coronavirus.

Hospitals can also state their required number of beds and food service needs. Hotels can use a separate form to indicate whether they have available space to accommodate the services the hospitals require.

The resource has been created with the support of several partners, including the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE), described as the largest association in the US dedicated to optimising the healthcare built environment, and the Georgia Tech Simtigrate Design Lab, an interdisciplinary lab using research and simulation to improve medical experience and quality, patient safety, and patient outcomes.

The Center for Health Design has also assembled a selection of research, best practices, tools and resources to assist healthcare providers with current infection-control needs and inform future project planning.

One such resource is an infection-control toolbox, featuring evidence-based strategies, tools and best practices. Normally available only with the Center for Health Design’s Affiliate+ membership, this toolbox is now free to access. With a focus on hand hygiene, contact transmission, surface cleaning, and other related topics, it includes: issue briefs; design strategies; planning tools; lessons learned; project briefs; interviews; webinars; and more.

Organisations involved