Prioritizing Care During the Pandemic?>

Prioritizing Care During the Pandemic

by Peter Jaret  

The CDC provides a framework for clinicians to help them prioritize health care services for non-Covid-19 patients during the pandemic based on the likeliness of potential harm to patients from not receiving services and the degree of Covid-19 transmission in the practice’s local community.

According to the CDC, the following examples are highly likely to result in patient harm if care is delayed:

  • Signs and symptoms of a stroke or heart attack
  • Dental emergencies
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Treatment for certain cancers

The following examples may result in patient harm if in-person care is delayed:

  • A change in symptoms for chronic conditions
  • Musculoskeletal injury
  • Certain planned surgical repairs
  • Physical or occupational therapy

The following examples are unlikely to cause harm if care is deferred:

  • Routine primary or specialty care
  • Care for well-controlled chronic conditions
  • Routine screening for asymptomatic conditions
  • Most elective surgeries and procedures

This article first appeared in the August 2020 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.