Research Mentor(s): Thomas Valley, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Department of Internal Medicine, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 3 (1pm-1:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 19
The U.S. has had great disparities between rural and urban hospital resources – particularly with intensive care. Rural ICUs have much less resources as compared to urban ICUs and as such, have been impacted differently by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to work on characterizing adaptations made by rural ICUs in response to COVID-19 along with setting up for further studies which contribute to the development of a toolkit of methods used by high-functioning rural ICUs. This toolkit will provide knowledge and understanding of ways in which rural ICU care can be made more effective. The toolkit will be created by conducting a randomized, nationwide survey of ICU administrators who can answer questions regarding their ICU’s changes to resources including capacity, staffing, policies, and workflow in response to the pandemic. We hypothesize that high-performing rural ICUs have made particular adaptations that have aided them in providing effective patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly, we predict that hospitals will respond by 1. Reducing barriers to inter-hospital transfer and 2. Expanding alternative care strategies. In order to identify these adaptations, we are conducting a randomized nationwide survey of ICU administrators at rural ICUs about their adaptations in response to COVID-19. Upon completion of the survey, the responses received will be analyzed and a toolkit of resources will be developed and rapidly disseminated. Our toolkit of resources will allow rural ICUs to prepare for future public health emergencies by optimizing resources and maximizing patient care.