July 23, 2020

UW Health - Preparing for every COVID-19 possibility

Madison, Wis. — Thanks to a comprehensive set of protocols, capacity management measurements and nimble process adjustments, UW Health is prepared meet the healthcare needs of our community while managing a potential surge in COVID-19 cases.

Patients throughout Wisconsin and in our Madison community have many healthcare needs, and as a level one adult and pediatric trauma center, burn center, and Wisconsin's highest ranked medical center, UW Health has the expertise and technology to safely adjust operations, repurposing care for different levels of potential surge in COVID-19 cases.

For many hospitals handling COVID-19 has been a question of turning "on" and "off" services depending on the spread of the virus. UW Health's planning and protocols allow for a more targeted approach. "We essentially have a dimmer switch in place," said Dr. Jeff Pothof, UW Health chief quality and safety officer. "We can quickly make room for different levels of COVID-19 hospitalization if needed through adjustments to our facilities and targeted changes to non-emergent and non-urgent services. If a surge comes and then the curve flattens, we're prepared to quickly return to regular operations. This is how we safely serve all the health care needs of our patients and our community."

In addition to the "dimmer switch" protocols, UW Health's providers have gained invaluable experience in treating and understanding the virus since March. Our knowledge of the disease and how to treat it continues to grow, while our supply chain innovations have ensured we have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Safety measures at UW Health's facilities have been in place now for months now, successfully keeping our staff and patients protected.

"We are prepared at UW Health to provide the care our patients need. But to flatten the curve and stop spread of the virus, we need the community to partner with us by wearing masks when in public, avoiding large gatherings (especially indoors), practicing good hand hygiene and physical distancing," said Pothof.

Video: UW Health's Preparedness Planning

UW Health - Preparing For Every COVID-19 Possibility