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This is an excerpt from a member-only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe.

Tips for opening a field hospital during the coronavirus pandemic

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May 27, 2021
 

By Christopher Cheney, HealthLeaders Media, (ccheney@healthleadersmedia.com)

When health systems need to open a field hospital during a public health emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic, they should be guided by emergency management principles, the lead author of a recent journal article on opening a field hospital says.

Several states across the country have had to open field hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic to accommodate COVID-19 patient surges. A common strategy has been to use field hospitals to treat low-acuity COVID-19 patients who can be transferred from hospitals and cared for safely before being discharged home.

The recent journal article, which was published by Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, features the planning effort for a 500-bed field hospital at Michigan Medicine—the health system affiliated with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Planning for the alternate care site (ACS) began in March 2020, when modeling predicted that Michigan Medicine’s 1,000-bed acute care capacity would be overwhelmed by April 10.



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