Harnessing the Power of Hospitalists in Operational Disaster Planning: COVID-19

J Gen Intern Med. 2020 Sep;35(9):2732-2737. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-05952-6. Epub 2020 Jul 13.


Hospitalists are well poised to serve in key leadership roles and in frontline care in particular when facing a pandemic such as the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection. Much of the disaster planning in hospitals around the country addresses overcrowded emergency departments and decompressing these locations; however, in the case of COVID-19, intensive care units, emergency departments, and medical wards ran the risk of being overwhelmed by a large influx of patients needing high-level medical care. In a matter of days, our Division of Hospital Medicine, in partnership with our hospital, health system, and academic institution, was able to modify and deploy existing disaster plans to quickly care for an influx of medically complex patients. We describe a scaled approach to managing hospitalist clinical operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Capacity Building / methods*
  • Capacity Building / trends
  • Containment of Biohazards / methods
  • Containment of Biohazards / trends
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Disaster Planning / methods*
  • Disaster Planning / trends
  • Hospitalists* / trends
  • Hospitals* / trends
  • Humans
  • Intersectoral Collaboration
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • SARS-CoV-2