Coronavirus Pandemic Surge Planning: Modeling, Staffing, and Operational Planning

The CEO and executive VP of Boston Medical Center Health System discuss preparations to remain staffed and resourced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alastair Bell, MD, MBA discusses coronavirus patient surge planning with Kate Walsh, CEO of Boston Medical Center Health System.
Adam Knee

Alastair Bell, MD, MBA, executive vice president for Boston Medical Center Health System, began the health system's surge planning weeks ago. Recently he sat down with Kate Walsh, president and CEO, to discuss preparations, his approach to surge planning, and how the team has adapted quickly to the rapidly evolving situation and policies — sometimes several iterations in one day — to stay on top of patient care while protecting staff. One thing is clear: proactive forward-looking planning has been critical. 

As hospitals around the country prepare for coronavirus patient surges in the coming weeks, the predictive modeling approach Bell and his team have taken can offer a valuable lesson in rising to meet demand.

Informed preparation: Looking at global epidemiology and public health response

Acute care and surge planning through prediction and alignment of resources

Modeling demand for personal protective equipment (PPE)

Changes in modeling, staffing, operational planning 

Disruption and team adaptation to address challenges