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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-24

COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and mitigation plan: Department of internal medicine experience from a clinical perspective


1 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University; Obesity Research Center, College of Medicine, King Saud University; Strategic Center for Diabetes Research, College of Medicine, King Saud University; The Strategic Technologies Program of the National Plan for Sciences and Technology Innovation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Obesity Research Center, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University; The Strategic Technologies Program of the National Plan for Sciences and Technology Innovation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; The University Sleep Disorders Center, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Orthopedics, College of Medicine and King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
6 Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
7 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh; Oncology Center, King Saud University Medical City, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Assim A Alfadda
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and King Saud University, Medical City, Obesity Research Center, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Strategic Center for Diabetes Research, College of Medicine, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2925, Riyadh 11461
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jnsm.jnsm_109_20

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During the current COVID-19 pandemic, timing and preparedness for healthcare facilities are fundamental. This descriptive article narrates the Department of Internal Medicine at the College of Medicine and King Saud University Medical City (KSUMC) response before and during the COVID-19 outbreak by focusing on the preparedness and mitigation plans the department implemented for its clinical services. A COVID-19 taskforce was created to implement the pathways for healthcare workers' workflow organization, plan the effective use of isolation facilities and personal protective equipment, and enhance liaisons between departments in the medical city. Telehealth was utilized for outpatient services, and medications were delivered to patients via courier. Aerosol-generating procedures were conducted after thoroughly reviewing the clinical indications and time-related risks. Medical day unit services followed a strict multistep screening protocol and rescheduled nonurgent investigations and therapeutics when possible. The Department of Internal Medicine prepandemic preparedness helped significantly mitigate the pandemic impact on KSUMC. Prioritizing in-hospital clinical care according to the patients' conditions, full adherence to infection control measures, clear and efficient communication between departments, and utilizing telehealth were the key elements in maintaining state-of-the-art clinical care during the pandemic.


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