Middle Eastern Corona virus (MERS-Cov) has been acknowledged globally as a novel and evolving pathogen. First detected in 2012, approximately 1,000 confirmed cases reported by World Health Organization and linked to travel to Saudi Arabia (Zaid et al 20141). The frenetic first days and months following the declaration of epidemic in the Arabian Peninsula gained the global attention of scientists, epidemiologists and academics. The summer of 2015 witnessed a MERS-Cov outbreak that resulted in the closure of a major Middle Eastern university teaching hospital. Overcrowding and delays were acknowledged as contributory factors that limited staff ability to effectively isolate infectious cases. Patient flow processes were not streamlined resulting in frustration amongst staff and patients. Lack of knowledge related to the mode of transmission of this emergent, novel pathogen added to the challenges faced within the Emergency Department. A complete system and service re-design took place with the introduction of the Kingdom’s first Drive Through Screening and Streaming Unit (along with secondary screening and surveillance checkpoints) using an Acute Respiratory Illness tool, to direct potentially infected patients to designated isolation areas to a flu clinic equipped to manage all suspected cases of MERS-Cov and isolated away from the main Emergency Department. This novel concept has been developed to ensure safe and efficient screening and streaming of suspected cases, The Caswell – Hijazi Model.
Aims and Scope:
Identify cause and effect of outbreaks of MERS-Cov
Development of a strategy of service and systems re-design that can be employed across all healthcare organizations internationally.
The development of the Caswell-Hijazi model- a novel concept.
Organizational risk assessment and mitigation strategies in a quaternary, university military teaching hospital.
Staff support and leadership engagement/empowerment of its front line staff
Moving on from lessons learned to create a methodology that is sustainable and transfereable to prevent outbreaks.