Ministry of Health releases SOP as part of hospital management during pandemic

New Delhi: The Ministry of Health on Friday (March 27,2020) released the standard operating procedure (SOP) for reallocation of residents, PG students and nursing students as part of hospital management amid the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

As per the guidelines in SOP, the hospital may be divided into three broad zones – non covid area, covid area looking after patients with mild to moderate illness and critical area like the ICU. A triage area also needs to be developed during emergency where patients with acute severe respiratory illness can be admitted.

In the SOP the government has also categorised Residents, DNB/, CPS students, facilities and team constitution.

The Ministry has also asked the Team leaders  or supervising faculty  to make the that roles and responsibilities very clear to students and have asked the faculty-in-charge to ensure uniform level of training is devised and delivered.

“Training about COVID-19, and other aspects of clinical evaluation of patients should also be made available for residents, especially those drawn from departments where there is either no regular patient-care activity (pre- and para- clinical departments) or if they so desire, even those with a limited engagement with sick patients”, said the SOP.

Emphasising on training of medical professionals, the Health Ministry said it is also important to ensure linkage between the team providing training and the COVID-19 Task Force responsible for deployment of resident students.

“No resident should be posted at any COVID-19 facility without undergoing an essential training module, as is being conducted by the hospital infection control team”, said the SOP.

The Ministry is also pondering to include psychologists to be part of the training, to enhance motivation of participating residents.

The COVID-19 Task Force and faculty-in-charge for various levels of the facilities will decide the total number of individuals required per team / shift and the duration of a shift (depending on the need to wear personal protective equipment).

The Health Ministry said it may rope in nursing students to manage the health crisis during the unprecedented public health emergency.

”The COVID-19 cases are increasing the need for more manpower is essential to handle the pandemic situation. If the need arises, students can be roped in to handle the crisis, as per their level of skills and training”, read the SOP.

Meanwhile, the Ministry also said that the SOP is also applicable to private hospitals and colleges.