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COVID-19 Emergency Department Protocols: Experience of Protocol Implementation Through in-situ Simulation

Authors Shrestha AP, Shrestha A, Sonnenberg T, Shrestha R

Received 10 June 2020

Accepted for publication 7 October 2020

Published 16 October 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 293—303


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hans-Christoph Pape

Anmol Shrestha,1 Abha Shrestha,2 Taylor Sonnenberg,3 Roshana Shrestha1

1Department of General Practice and Emergency Medicine, Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences, Dhulikhel, Nepal; 2Department of Community Medicine, Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences, Dhulikhel, Nepal; 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA

Correspondence: Anmol Shrestha
Department of General Practice and Emergency Medicine, Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences, Dhulikhel 45200, Nepal
Tel +977 9851006622
Fax +977 11 490707
Email [email protected]

Purpose: During the outbreak of Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19), the preparedness of emergency departments (EDs) for triaging of the patients and safety of staff is of utmost importance. The aim of our study was to develop and implement COVID-19 ED triage and protected intubation protocols for COVID-19 patients with in-situ simulation (ISS) training. The latent safety threats (LST) detection also served as a platform to test new system amendments and refine the protocols and workflows with infection control issues. We also explored the effectiveness of this approach based on Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluating training outcomes.
Participants and Methods: The protocols and simulation scenarios were developed and validated. A total of 22 triage and 13 intubation simulation sessions were conducted in the ED with multidisciplinary staff (physicians=18, nurses=20) during a period of four months. Each simulation was followed by a debriefing session to discuss the team performance. Pre- and post-simulation performances were compared. LSTs were identified and remediated. An online voluntary feedback was collected from the participants to explore the opinion about the ISS sessions and confidence level using a 5-point Likert scale.
Results: There was a significant improvement in triage knowledge score after ISS [5.5/10 (IQR 4– 6) versus 8.5/10 (IQR 8– 9), p< 0.001]. There was a desirable proportion of correct responses (> 75%) following the ISS for triage case scenarios. A pre-designed checklist was used during protective intubation simulations. Some important LSTs were missing medications, lack of mechanism to deliver patient samples to lab and faulty airway maneuvers. The participants’ feedback on ISS showed increased skills and confidence level on triaging and protected intubation (p< 0.001). They found the protocols easy to follow and they recommended for more such modules in future.
Conclusion: ISS is a quick and efficient tool to implement the ED protocols for preparation of outbreaks like COVID-19. It helps the ED staff to triage and manage the airway safely. We recommend such an approach to train the multidisciplinary staff and continue to improve ourselves through ISS addressing the changing nature of the pandemic.

Keywords: airway management, emergency department, in situ simulation, intubation, latent safety threats, triage

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