Groote Schuur Hospital
Country: South Africa
Groote Schuur Hospital Covid response strategy
Known as a premier academic institution in Cape Town, South Africa, Groote Schuur Hospital had to rapidly reorient its activities in preparation for treating a large number of COVID-positive patients.
In mid-March, it began de-escalating its theater and outpatient activities. It also conducted risk assessments and training among its staff. At the same time, the hospital established a testing center to ensure that the flow of suspected COVID patients did not pose a risk to others. As a result of these efforts, the hospital was prepared by the time its first COVID-positive patient arrived on the first of April. As the pandemic continued to rage, Gruute Schuur commissioned more wards to accommodate the influx of people.
As patients arrived, the hospital remained two wards ahead all the time. At the peak of the pandemic, it had seven COVID wards, five PUI wards and seven ICU areas accommodating confirmed or suspected COVID patients. Clinically, the hospital saw the most patients in the province, totaling 2600 Covid positive patients and almost 5000 PUI patients over the past 6 months. To improve treatment outcomes, the hospital also established multidisciplinary teams to rotate through the wards, with sufficient rest between shifts to prevent burnout. This was done for nurses and doctors, resulting in a team of surgeons, oncologists, gynecologists, all working alongside the physicians. There were also relief teams in place to ensure that staff who contracted COVID could rest and recover.