By Elizabeth George

Having enough hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients in the event of a surge – that’s top of mind for healthcare professionals around the country right now.

Will we have enough hospital beds, enough healthcare professionals, enough life-saving medical equipment should we need it?

When there’s perceived scarcity of any kind, there are numerous types of responses – some more productive than others.

But with this shared national challenge is coming a new level of creativity and cooperation – even among former industry competitors – and it’s leading to break-through thinking and unconventional solutions.

One solution to the potential bed shortage, for example, is to identify nontraditional spaces – college dorms, former nursing homes, and empty buildings – to set up as temporary medical facilities. Plans being developed in New York for this solution require the deployment of the National Guard and partnering with developers and construction unions on getting facilities set up quickly.

States are also preparing to address a potential shortage of healthcare professionals – reaching out to retired doctors and nurses, seeking to get nursing students certified to work more quickly and asking for a relaxation of regulations that would allow doctors and nurses to work across state lines.

Outside the Box Solutions Ironically Come in a Box

One of the organizations being tapped for help during this challenge is RCare, a global provider of wireless nurse call and personal emergency response systems and a Senior Living Foresight partner. Hospitals are calling upon RCare to request the use of its Rapid Deployment Kit.

RCare’s Rapid Deployment Kit is a nurse call system in a box. True to its name, it’s able to be deployed quickly and is easy to operate, a necessity if patient volume rapidly expands.

“The overall risk from this virus is still unknown, but what we do know is that many hospitals and providers are being overwhelmed with patients,” said Myron Kowal, CEO of RCare. “It’s good to see the collaboration that’s taking place and we’re glad to be able to extend our technology capabilities to places in need.”

RCare developed the Rapid Deployment Kit approximately 10 years ago so it could assist in situations like the COVID-19 challenge we’re facing today. Says Myron Kowal, “Of course, we never want to have the types of challenges we’re facing now where we have to deploy tools like this. We’ve worked hard, however, to ensure that RCare can be ready when these challenges do arise.”

As we all get accustomed to a new reality – of social distancing, limiting access to our communities, and learning to live with the uncertainty it brings – we can all count on one thing: the ability and the “can do” spirit of the American people to wrestle a problem to the ground and identify creative solutions that make life better.

For information about RCare’s solutions, visit their website.