3. Providing health services effectively
The section on PROVIDING HEALTH SERVICES EFFECTIVELY describes approaches for service delivery planning and patient pathways for suspected COVID-19 cases. It also considers efforts by countries to maintain other essential services during periods of excessive demand for health services.
3.1 Planning services
From the beginning of the pandemic in Iceland, individuals were advised not to come directly to the Acute and Emergency rooms (A&E) or the primary care centres. They were directed to make initial contact by a dedicated telephone number and get advice from nurses on what to do and how to proceed. Health care providers were advised to provide separate waiting rooms for patient with higher risk of infections, minimize length waiting times in waiting rooms, ensure availability hand sanitizers and remove all journal, magazines and papers. Access to medical and nursing care services was increased with better availability of tele-medicine and health care advice via telephone calls and patients were encouraged to use those channels instead of coming physically to the clinics.
DoH. Status Report, DCPEM and CE. March 24th 2020 https://www.landlaeknir.is/servlet/file/store93/item40626/COVID19_Stoduskyrsla_24032020.pdf
DoH. Responses of the health care authorities, March 16https://www.landlaeknir.is/koronaveira/vidbrogd-heilbrigdisyfirvalda/
DoH March 11th, Guidance to helath care workers https://www.landlaeknir.is/um-embaettid/greinar/grein/item39200/Leidbeiningar-til-heilbrigdisstarfsmanna-vegna-COVID-19
DoH March 23rd 2020. Information to health care workers and other COVID-19 responding parties https://www.landlaeknir.is/koronaveira/upplysingar-fyrir-heilbrigdisstarfsfolk/