The speed, severity and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged infection prevention and control (IPC) efforts at hospitals worldwide. Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Dorchester had an established pandemic plan, which had been developed in response to the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic in 2009. However, the COVID-19 pandemic developed to a level that modern health care had not seen before and it remains the largest challenge for health care to date. This article outlines the experience of a rural district general hospital using digital solutions for infection prevention and control before and during the pandemic. The author will explore the experience of a hospital that implemented specialised clinical surveillance software, how it was applied to management and control of COVID-19 cases, and how the availability of that system allowed for continued focus on controlling other pathogens in the hospital environment, even at the height of the pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19 surveillance; Clinical surveillance software; Infection prevention and control; Outbreak management; Quality Improvement.