I wanted to update you on the COVID surge in our community and our coverage strategy for the months ahead.
As you are likely aware, we continue to care for growing volumes of patients with COVID in our intensive care units and on the floors. This trend does not look like it will let up soon. As difficult as this time is, I want you all to know that I am proud of the collaborative efforts across our Department, School and Hospital. I know many of you have been integrally involved in these efforts for months. Please know that I am grateful for your dedication to our patients and our community.
Leaders in the Department of Medicine continue to work on building robust staffing plans anticipating what lies ahead. Divisions in the DOM are building layers of support in the form of three backup teams for our ward teaching teams. These teams will allow us to expand coverage for our COVID teams on the floor, step-down, and ICU. Your Division leaders will be communicating with you to ask for your assistance in covering these backup teams. If you see these calls for assistance, please know the need is real. If you can sign up to cover for a few days, please do - we are in need of all the help we can get.
I recognize these asks are extremely disruptive to your routine and workflow. To minimize impact, I have asked that we proactively schedule these backup teams in advance (now spanning most of January 2022). By looking ahead and finding coverage for specific dates, I hope we can maximize continuity for our patients and learners and reduce the burden on each of you. If our needs increase, we may have to send additional calls for help beyond the Division blocks that have already been assigned. I sincerely hope this does not happen - but you should know that we are planning and preparing for all possibilities.
As dark as this period may be and as difficult as this email is to write, please know that I will always keep you informed as the surge continues. I am confident we will rise to this challenge as a Department, and look forward to seeing many of you on the wards in the months ahead.
As always, do not hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns, or ideas.