Guidance Released For Rebooting EP Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
A joint document from the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and American Heart Association (AHA) and endorsed by the ACC provides guidance for clinicians and institutions reestablishing safe electrophysiological care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the undetermined course and regional variability of the pandemic, there is uncertainty as to how and when to resume and deliver electrophysiology (EP) services for arrhythmia patients, according to the statement published June 12 in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.
Dhanunjaya R. Lakkireddy, MBBS, FACC, et al., provide EP clinicians and institutional administrators with a series of guiding suggestions and principles to move forward as the "reboot" to provide necessary heart rhythm care to patients begins.
Of note, the statement addresses accurate tracking; modeling and understanding of COVID-19 status; the crucial role of viral screening and serologic testing; the need to balance public health societal concerns with the commitment to the individual patient when prioritizing procedures; institutional preparedness for resumption of elective procedures; patient preparation and communication; testing and return to work for health care workers; and risk stratification and management strategies based on COVID-19 disease burden.
The statement also recommends the development of relatively COVID-19 safe outpatient and periprocedural care pathways, as well as an EP COVID-19 working group representing the stakeholders involved in the EP care continuum pathway to coordinate with institutional or hospital-level COVID-19 leadership.
"Our main goal as health care professionals, whether we serve in a clinical, teaching, research or administrative role, is to do everything we can to create a safe environment for our patients so that they receive the excellent care they deserve," the authors conclude.
Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemics, Public Health, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Health Personnel, Health Facility Administrators, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Continuity of Patient Care
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