Q&A: How COVID-19 Tests Hospital Command Centers

August 12, 2020

Mary Ellen Beliveau: “If I’m an OB/GYN and all of a sudden I’m in the ICU, I don’t know how to run a ventilator. I’ve never run a ventilator before. I could be the best OB/GYN in the country. But suddenly, being put in a different area of practice and then to be expected to be at the top of my license is almost impossible.”

Hospital command centers were built to handle emergencies like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters. They weren’t built with something like COVID-19, says Mary Ellen Beliveau, the CEO and founder of Knowledge to Practice, a company that develops continuing education platforms and tools. Beliveau tells Infection Control Today®: “I’m trying to get as deep an insight as possible on the command centers, and how hospitals have adopted their command centers to be effective in a pandemic, when command centers have generally been designed for storm-based issues. And how quickly they have turned it around. Who’s been successful who hasn’t been successful.” Beliveau also discusses the difficulties faced when some specialists help in the emergency department, doing tasks they’ve never been trained to do.