Implementing a Pandemic Roster in a Specialty Emergency Department – Challenges & Benefits

This article was originally published here

Emerg Med Australas. 2021 Jan 18. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.13732. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To create a roster which eliminated unnecessary cross staff exposure to ensure the hospital had sufficient staff to run the Emergency Department in the event that a group of staff are affected by COVID-19. This roster was aimed at providing staff with ‘manageable shift lengths, down-time between shifts, regular breaks and access to refreshments’ as dictated by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

METHODS: Creating 6 fixed teams in our Emergency Department. Teams work blocks of 3 consecutive days of 12 hour shifts, each block alternates between day and night shifts.

RESULTS: We managed to completely eliminate unnecessary cross over of staff thus reducing risk of having a large part of our workforce incapacitated should any member be affected by COVID.

CONCLUSIONS: A pandemic roster plan to minimize staff exposure from other colleagues during a pandemic was possible. This helps to ensure an adequate workforce in the unfortunate event a staff contracts the disease leading to other close contact staff requiring isolation or succumbing to the same illness.

PMID:33458933 | DOI:10.1111/1742-6723.13732