The COVID crisis tested healthcare’s robustness (the capacity to take a punch) and agility (the ability to adapt). Many hospitals struggled coping with the unprecedented influx of patients and Covid related losses of valuable staff. New hot spots spurred by variants of the virus continue to stress and strain health systems, increasing uncertainties beyond the current pandemic.
The primary challenge in improving healthcare systems’ ability to cope with Covid and other infrequent mass casualty scenarios is in increasing temporary patient management and support capacity without risking ongoing operations. It’s a daunting problem that is not unique to healthcare and emergency response operations. Industries like telecommunications and government functions including national security and defense experience similar stressors. It suggests that healthcare can learn and benefit from their experiences and proven strategies.
Organizations that effectively cope with unpredictable, unsustainably high demands leveraged innovative technologies, systems, and business models to dynamically increase point capacity. When properly implemented, this strategy allows management to quickly reallocate and redeploy resources to sustainably address crisis-driven peaks in demand without risking their broader operations and financial health. These are the indispensable components of operational elasticity and lessons that healthcare providers should take to heart.
My colleagues and I have researched and developed solutions to these challenges across industries, including healthcare. Contact us for more information and insights into improving your hospital's ability to cope with unexpected demands.