As of mid-June, ACEP’s Field Guide to COVID-19 Care in the Emergency Department had grown to more than 250 pages of COVID-19 clinical content. Nearly 200 health care entities and public health organizations across the world were linking to it from their own websites, and it had been independently translated into five additional languages.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 39 – No 07 – July 2020
Before the Field Guide became a valuable clinical resource in the fight against COVID-19, it all began in a member forum where emergency physicians across the world were sharing lessons learned at warp speed.
EngagED Goes Global
On Jan. 21, ACEP sent all members a Clinical Alert email to make them aware of the novel coronavirus that had just been detected for the first time in the United States. That alert marked the beginning of an escalating need for the rapid sharing of information among emergency physicians across the world.
On March 2, ACEP participated in a call with members in Washington state, who were experiencing the COVID-19 crisis before the rest of the country. The Washington contingent wanted to be able to share their firsthand experiences to help other emergency physicians prepare, and they needed a platform to facilitate dialogue.
Two days later, ACEP created a new forum within its EngagED community that was exclusively dedicated to sharing information about COVID-19. As the global health crisis was snowballing and ACEP received more requests to broaden access to this forum, the decision was made to allow select nonmember participants. Because family physicians are often part of the ED staff in rural emergency departments, members of the American Academy of Family Physicians Emergency Medicine/Urgent Care Member Interest Group were invited to participate on March 23. The forum was then opened further to include American Board of Emergency Medicine diplomates. As of mid-June, the forum had 3,987 participants, 642 conversation threads, and 2,799 discussion posts. The forum has a growing global audience, with users in more than 90 countries.
From Forum to Field Guide
Information was being shared in the COVID-19 forum so quickly that important content was being buried in competing threads. To address this problem, ACEP Practice Management Manager Sam Shahid, MBBS, MPH, began providing forum users with comprehensive daily summaries of the information shared. Dr. Shahid read every post, connected relevant content with other posts, and organized it by clinical topic.
It didn’t take long for those forum summaries to become unwieldy. (The final summary in May was a whopping 473 pages!) In early April, seeing the need for a resource that summarized current COVID-19 guidance all in one place, ACEP’s clinical, educational, and information technology teams collaborated to create the Field Guide to COVID-19 Care in the Emergency Department.
Using the knowledge base formed within those EngagED daily summaries, Dr. Shahid led an interdepartmental team to compile the information. They solicited content experts to pen various sections and filled in the gaps with their own research. Meanwhile, ACEP’s information technology team designed a mobile-friendly website structure that would allow the content to be updated continuously and make it simple for emergency physicians to sort and view clinical content on their phones. It came together incredibly fast. From conceiving the idea to publishing the Field Guide, the entire process took only 12 days.
After its publication on April 8, the Field Guide immediately became ACEP’s most popular COVID-19 resource. Its breadth and reach grew as quickly as the body of clinical knowledge for COVID-19, and it has expanded to 250 pages. (But don’t worry, the table of contents helps sort the information quickly.) The Field Guide goes beyond clinical information to include resources related to regulatory affairs, financial help, reimbursement, and wellness assistance.
As of mid-June, the Field Guide had more than 120,000 views and was being linked to from nearly 200 health care and public health agencies as a valuable resource. Emergency clinicians in other parts of the world took notice, too, reaching out to ACEP for permission to independently translate it into Urdu, Hindi, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, ACEP will continue to update the Field Guide with the latest information. We encourage you to save www.acep.org/covid19-field-guide to your phone and other devices so you can reference this resource whenever you need it.