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Prevention and Mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 in a Behavioral Health Setting

Vadenais, Brenden (2021) Prevention and Mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 in a Behavioral Health Setting. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background/Objective: SARS-CoV-2 has proven to be a challenge to prevent. Many different precautions are needed to maintain safe environments. An added challenge comes with restrictions that exist in behavioral health for patient’s safety. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), effective hand hygiene and other mitigation efforts are essential in preventing spread of SARS-CoV-2 in different healthcare environments. This paper demonstrates the public health significance of collaboration and implementation of preventative measures for a pandemic.

Methods: To determine the best precautions to use, different guidelines are followed and reviewed for best practice. Over summer 2020 as new developments about SARS-CoV-2 were discovered, the way in which precautions are handled adapted. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and UPMC are used to formulate guidelines for patients and employees. Weekly meetings brought together infection preventionists and some physicians at UPMC to discuss current research and practices for mitigation. Specific guidelines needed to be adjusted to effectively work under existing restrictions within a behavioral health care setting.

Results: As new information emerged about the virus, we made adjustments to existing mitigation strategies along with new preventative measures being developed. During the initial months of the pandemic new strategies used at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital (UPMC WPH) allowed for patient care to be better. Preventative measures were being used to reduce viral transmission between hospital staff and patients. Zones were established to keep patients of similar status for COVID-19 infection together and allow for better mental and physical health outcomes.

Discussion: During an emerging pandemic, many different mitigation factors are taken into consideration depending on the healthcare environment. Within a behavioral health facility, specific precautions are taken to improve and protect the health of its patients. With SARS-CoV-2 being a novel virus, many new strategies were used and adapted from previous outbreaks of coronaviruses. Many preventative measures developed and used have shown to be successful within UPMC WPH behavioral health setting. Patients and staff have maintained procedures and reduced negative outcomes associated with the virus. Strategies used in this paper could be beneficial in other facilities during new outbreaks.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Vadenais, Brendenvadenaisb@gmail.combrv17
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis advisorGlynn, Nancyepidnwg@pitt.eduepidnwgUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberTatar, Janina-Marietatarj@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSnyder, Grahamsnydergm3@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 31 August 2021
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 29
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: No
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2021 13:04
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 13:04


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