COVID-19 Contingency Planning

I hope that you are all staying well in this unprecedented difficult time. As you are well aware, things are very fluid and constantly changing. Return to normalcy is uncertain.

I’m writing to present a couple of suggestions for contingency planning in orthopaedics. I know that elective clinical services have largely been stopped across the city but that we will still be providing emergency care. In an effort to prevent a wipeout of an entire group at any one hospital should someone contract COVID-19, some specialties are breaking their faculty up into 2 teams that will stay completely separate and not have any interaction whatsoever. That way half of the individuals may (hopefully) at any one hospital remain healthy and without quarantine restrictions. We’re suggesting the same for housestaff.

In the extreme case where all of the faculty at any one site are sick or quarantined, one hospital has asked about the possibility of cross-appointment across the teaching hospitals. I would like to ask that people be prepared to cover emergency cases at other hospitals. I have been told by our VP medical affairs that that can be done quickly through the CMARS system. I will see if we can do this proactively so that everything can begin immediately should the need arise. I certainly don’t expect this to come to fruition but if it does, we will quickly sort out the schedule. Please keep me informed should anything develop at your hospitals.

We are all in this together. Thank you for your altruism and willingness to help in this difficult time.

Peter C. Ferguson MD MSc FRCSC FAOA
Albert and Temmy Latner Chair,
Division of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery
University of Toronto

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