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INVITED PERSPECTIVE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 154-161

Organizing inpatient services in a general hospital in times of COVID-19


Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Mamta Sood
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_247_20

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COVID-19 is an unprecedented event and has affected patients with psychiatric disorders in multiple ways. Patients in inpatient settings are at high risk of exposure of getting COVID-19 infection. We reviewed the literature on the inpatient psychiatric facilities and measures regarding how to address COVID-19 in these settings. We then provide an experiential narrative of the strategies and improvisations to meet the challenges of COVID-19 so as to continue the inpatient services at a large public funded medical school and hospital in North India. Literature suggested that it is important to restrict hospitalization, expedite discharges, prohibit visit of the attendants, minimize group activities, provide psychological assistance, multidisciplinary teams to provide care, to tackle issue of stigma, have adequate means for practicing preventive measures, creating facility for isolation and have clear guidelines for diagnostic testing. The psychiatry ward in our hospital was designated non-COVID ward and substantial beds were reserved for surgical trauma patients. For organizing inpatient services, we created a multidisciplinary team. Some of the measures were institute-mandated, while others were intra-departmental measures to protect staff as well as patients in the psychiatry ward. It can be concluded that COVID-19 pandemic is still an evolving situation. The measures to prevent exposure to COVID-19 infection in the inpatient facilities continues to evolve as and when fresh challenges emerge.


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