Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 24(2) July 2021 : 27-32.doi:10.12927/hcq.2021.26550
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Health Professional Redeployment and Cross-Training in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lisa A.S. Walker, Amanda J. Pontefract and Debra A. Bournes


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 required hospitals to respond quickly and effectively to ensure the availability of healthcare professionals to care for patients. The Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa, ON, used a five-step process to ensure organizational readiness for redeployment of regulated health professionals as and when necessary: (1) define current scopes of practice; (2) obtain discipline-specific input; (3) develop strategies based on literature review and government dictates; (4) identify potential duties; and (5) ensure support for staff. With hospital management support, this plan was readily implemented. Results are discussed in terms of operational outcomes (e.g., number and type of deployments) and staff experience. Outcomes were positive and led to recommendations for improved organizational readiness.



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