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COVID-19 Workforce Solutions from the Field
Topic Collection
June 3, 2020

Topic Collection: COVID-19 Workforce Solutions from the Field

This collection highlights webinars and other resources sharing promising practices from the field related to workforce capacity and addressing workforce issues.

Please refer to CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 webpage for the most up-to-date clinical guidance on COVID19 outbreak management.

If you are a decision-maker and have COVID-19 promising practices, plans, tools, or templates to share with your peers, please visit the ASPR TRACIE Information Exchange COVID-19 Information Sharing Page (registration required) and place your resources under the relevant topic area. Resources specific to decision-making on healthcare workforce can be placed under the COVID-19 Workforce Virtual Toolkit Topic.  

NOTE: inclusion of any reference in this document does not constitute an endorsement, acknowledgment, or suggestion that the reference is the only or best example for that topic. References are included as examples which were provided as suggestions at the time the document was developed.

All guidance posted is accessible to the public, and non-federal resources are noted with an asterisk (*). Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. government, or any of its employees, of the information and/or products presented on that site.

Promising Practices in 911


Orleans Parish Communications District. (2020). COVID ECC Resources *.
This website presents promising practices implemented by the Orleans Parish Communication District in response of COVID-19 to innovate their triage practices and reduce the risk of exposure to first responders in the field. These practices include administrative adjustments, software innovations that enable screening algorithms and computer aided dispatch, collaboration, and training of call-takers and dispatchers. Changes to software, protocols, and operating procedures enable the transfer of non-acute calls for medical service to paramedics stationed at the center, who then place video calls to screen callers for referrals, and perform daily follow-up to track symptoms of callers who are advised to remain at home.
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Promising Practices in Critical Care Nursing Staffing


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). (2020). Nurse Staffing Amid COVID-19 *.
This PCORI webinar on April 22, 2020 brought together critical care nurse leaders from different parts of the country (Washington, Maryland, and Georgia) to describe how their health systems have responded to nurse staffing needs amid surge and crisis response. The webinar summary provides information on the key strategies that these health systems used to assure appropriate staffing and use of PPE; optimize the performance of care teams; and address fears and anxiety among staff, patients, and families. Access the recorded webinar here: https://www.pcori.org/video/part-4-nurse-staffing-amid-covid-19-webinar-recording-april-21-2020 * The PCORI webinar series Confronting COVID-19: Finding Hospital Capacity and Improving Patient Flow highlights real time learning from hospitals and health systems confronted with an imminent or actual surge of COVID-19 patients. https://www.pcori.org/meetings-events/confronting-covid-19-finding-hospital-capacity-and-improving-patient-flow-webinar-series *
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Promising Practices in Developing and Implementing COVID-19 Surge Plans


This ASPR TRACIE webinar features speakers sharing lessons learned in adjusting care delivery, the role of leaders, and how rounding was changed to ensure workforce safety during COVID-19.
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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020). Podcasts and Transcripts. Coronavirus COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls.
The Thursday, May 7, 2020 Call with Nurses (at minute 6:33) contains a presentation by Dr. Nancy Blake, Chief Nursing Officer of Harbor UCLA Medical Center on how the concepts of healthy work environments and disaster preparedness came together during the COVID-19 surge at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. The leadership team’s approach included early and effective communication with the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staff and other teams caring for COVID-19 patients, frequent rounding to listen to the needs of staff, mental health support, and healthy meals. Interventions to supplement team staffing included utilization of orthopedics team members to help with proning and nurses from ambulatory care, trauma, and other services to provide basic nursing care as part of the team approach in the ICU.
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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020). Podcasts and Transcripts. Coronavirus COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls.
The Thursday, May 21, 2020 call with nurses (at minute 9:50) contains a presentation by Dr. Amanda Chaney, AANP Fellow from the Mayo Clinic in Florida, on how individuals from different departments, specialties, and hospitals came together for Mayo Clinic surge planning. The team developed strategies for staffing acute care wards by identifying the fitness level of nurses from other departments for a surge acute care situation, and developed onboarding curriculum and a three-day shadowing experience to train 80 nurses to provide acute care.
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This article describes now the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Project ECHO team refocused their courses to address COVID-19 response needs. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health includes member hospitals and primary and specialty care clinics throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Through these ECHO sessions hospitals could share information about setting up incident command centers and policies and procedures, as well as learn from hospitals treating COVID-19 cases.
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Health Workforce Technical Assistance Center. (2020). State Workforce Strategies in Response to COVID-19: Experiences from the Field.
This webinar provides insights into state responses to quickly build health workforce surge capacity, an overview of COVID-19 workforce resources available on the Health Workforce Technical Assistance Center website, and describes plans for current and future studies by the HWRCs related to COVID-19
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Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2020). 8 Lessons from a COVID-19 Surge Hotspot *.
This webpage provides information from Northwell Health’s learning to date about developing COVID-19 surge plans, as one of the earliest and hardest hit health systems in the U.S. with 23 hospitals and 800 outpatient centers north, south, and east of New York City. This health system went from one COVID-19 positive patient in one hospital in early March to over 3,000 COVID-19 positive patients in their hospitals with more than 600 on ventilators in a very short period of time. The takeaways highlight Northwell Health’s experience with planning, communication, capacity building, and staff support and protection, among other important actions from which health systems and hospitals can learn.
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University of Washington (UW) Medicine. (2020). Hospitals Prepare for COVID-19 Patient Surge *.
UW Medicine hospitals prepared for a surge of patients presenting with symptoms of COVID-19. This 5-minute video demonstrates how outside of its emergency department, Harborview Medical Center set up tents where patients with symptoms of respiratory illness can be triaged and kept apart from others with emergent needs. These tents allow the hospitals to expand capabilities and cohort patients with similar conditions in one location to provide more efficient care and increase safety.
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Promising Practices in Long-Term Care


Florida Health Care Association. (2020). Temporary COVID-19 Personal Care Attendant Program *.
Florida Agency for Health Care Administration approved a temporary personal care attendant (PCA) program requested by the Florida Health Care Association and Florida Leading Age to allow on-the-job training program for nursing assistants to work in nursing homes. The program provides an eight-hour initial training followed by supervised on the job training and allows the PCA to perform additional duties.
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States and localities across the U.S. are seeking effective ways to provide high-quality care to as many nursing home patients as is possible without transporting them to the hospital, while ensuring nursing home staff have the appropriate personal protective equipment and are trained how to use, and how to implement infection prevention and control measures on site. This webinar from the National Academy of Sciences highlighted how the states of Maryland and Massachusetts are addressing a number of challenges in nursing homes, including staffing shortages, expanding access to COVID-19 testing, and maintaining transparent communications with residents’ families and the public. Nursing home residents who exhibit symptoms of the COVID-19 virus are often taken immediately to the hospital, which may lack the capacity to provide appropriate care for them. Often they are not allowed to return to the nursing home for fear of spreading the infection to other vulnerable residents and staff. The webinar highlights innovative approaches to address these complex challenges that are currently being implemented in the state of Maryland. The collaborative approach involves health care professionals at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the state department of health, emergency medicine professionals, and newly formed “strike teams” made up of members of the National Guard. Access slides at https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/04-22-2020/keeping-nursing-home-residents-and-staff-safe-in-the-era-of-covid-19-a-webinar * or https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/04-22-2020/docs/D20B4F2AD00C95EC8FA23857D28DE0FB6C87B4736573 * The State of Massachusetts has leveraged existing programs such as ombudsman and has created new temporary processes to support long-term care facilities during the pandemic. Massachusetts has launched a long-term care portal to match individuals who have registered through the portal with the staffing requests submitted by the long-term care facilities. The state is also holding weekly calls with long term care facilities, where it hears firsthand about structural challenges, including staffing, PPE and supports needed. Access more information at https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-new-funding-outlines-ongoing-steps-to-support-long-term *
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The Indiana State Department of Health authorized licensed Indiana comprehensive care facilities (nursing homes) to train and subsequently utilize temporary personal care attendants as a supplement to other personnel.
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This article provides information on how California National Guard regional medical support teams are assisting skilled nursing facilities at 10 sites in Los Angeles County. It describes the types of medical professionals assigned to facilities and types of care being provided to support the regular facility staff.
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Promising Practices in PPE Match and Medical Supplies Match


The states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts have formed a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain initiative to obtain PPE and other medical equipment. The states have agreed to work together to identify the entire region's need for PPE and equipment, aggregate demand among the states, reduce costs of supplies, and stabilize the supply chain. The states developed policies regarding PPE inventory to ensure the region is prepared for a possible second wave of COVID-19. The states also coordinated policies on which supplies may be needed for First Responders and the non-profit and private sectors.
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Pennsylvania Community and Economic Development. (2020). Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal *.
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Community and Economic Development launched a business-to-business directory that provides contact information for local manufacturers of a variety of N95 respirators, cloth masks, and thermometers. Through the Call to Action Portal, companies can report their supply surplus, needs, or workforce gaps.
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South Carolina launched a COVID-19 Emergency Supply Chain Collaborative, which is a partnership between the state’s Department of Commerce, South Carolina Hospital Association, and South Carolina Life Sciences Industry. The Collaborative regularly updates the list of critical needs supplies on its website. The website allows for matching of supply needs with vetted and licensed manufacturers or suppliers.
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Promising Practices in Repurposing of Staff


American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. (2020). Two SRNAs Train ICU Nurses on Using Anesthesia Machines as Ventilators *.
Two student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) from the University of Iowa are training other healthcare workers on the use of anesthesia machines as ventilators, an innovative solution to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. With many COVID-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation, being able to use anesthesia machines as ventilators in an emergency helps save lives. The FDA has approved anesthesia machines as ventilators.
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This ASPR TRACIE webinar features speakers sharing lessons learned in adjusting care delivery, the role of leaders, and how rounding was changed to ensure workforce safety during COVID-19.
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Promising Practices in PPE Preservation


Tampa General Hospital implemented a plan where Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists perform intubations and extubations for all surgical patients in designated rooms. This protocol limits the number of staff who need full PPE.
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This ECHO session on innovative personal protective equipment (PPE) preservation strategies featured Dr. Gopi Patel (minute 9:20) from the Mount Sinai Hospital and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Dr. James Lawler (minute 28:30) from the Global Center for Health Security and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). Dr. Patel (slides https://app.box.com/s/t2hmd6xsm10fl16yvpt33pzyqmw4tw1h *) discussed how Mount Sinai Hospital preserved PPE as they faced a surge of patients. These actions helped flatten the epidemic curve, as they took steps to remain in contingency standards and prevent the shift to crisis standards. In spite of the hospital having pandemic planning, stockpiles of pandemic supplies (including N95 respirators), and lessons learned from other infectious diseases, they still were faced with a situation that required daily reassessment and new practices to care for patients and maintain staff safety. Dr. Lawler (slides https://app.box.com/s/oqd0823vgt529e34cy7l4ovba8io3qk7 *) discussed the experience at UNMC with reuse and decontamination of PPE.
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Promising Practices to Support Staff Availability: Housing


Hilton and American Express are providing rooms available without charge to doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other frontline medical staff who need a place to sleep, recharge or isolate from their families. In partnership with professional organizations, members can reserve free rooms for up to seven days by logging in to their professional association site. Current partners are listed on the website.
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Marriott, American Express and J.P. Morgan Chase. (2020). Rooms for Responders *.
Marriott, American Express and J.P. Morgan Chase Express are providing rooms available without charge to healthcare professionals leading COVID-19 response. The initiative is providing free rooms in areas most impacted by COVID-19. Marriott is implementing the Rooms for Responders initiative in collaboration with the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association to match doctors and nurses with free accommodations at participating hotels. Access more information about Rooms for Responders at https://help.marriott.com/s/article/Article-24521 *
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The City of New York's COVID-19 Hotel Program provides free hotel rooms to eligible New Yorkers who cannot isolate where they live and frontline workers in the healthcare industry who wish to reduce the risk of transmission at home.
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