INEM – Instituto Nacional de Emergência Médica, IP
COVID-19: Pandemic emergency in ERPI (Residential Structures for the Elderly / Nursing Homes) – The network response in the prevention
The National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM) is the agency of the Ministry of Health responsible for coordinating the Integrated Medical Emergency System (SIEM) in mainland Portugal. During the pandemic, there was great concern regarding the spread of the virus among residents living in Residential Structures for the Elderly (ERPI) and the staff who attended them.
In order to secure this vulnerable group, INEM rolled out a robust, multidisciplinary and multi-institutional intervention to combat the virus in ERPIs. This involved several stakeholders who provided human, technological, and material resources, carrying out training sessions for ERPI employees and streamlining the entire process of planning and implementing the project.
As a result of this collaboration, the outbreaks of infection and transmission in the ERPI were controlled. There was also a decrease in the number of new cases, which translated to a lower caseload for hospitals. This is a longitudinal project that will reduce the chains of contagion and transmission by infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, and lead to the timely preparation of the various institutions for a possible second pandemic wave.