This paper focuses on two scalable and readily available methods of mass reporting of COVID-19 cases in real time to fill in important gaps in the operational reporting of this pandemic.
To respond to COVID-19, many countries are using a combination of containment and mitigation activities with the goal of attenuating community spread. Thus current information available to the public may be a gross under-reporting of the current epidemic and do not allow for the strategies and scale of resource re-allocation needed to provide supportive care to those becoming critically ill.
Preparation of hospitals and health systems has been largely applied anticipating a uniform surge of patients requiring either isolated medical ward rooms or intensive care and mechanical ventilation. This this form of readiness planning is not responsive to the clustering of cases that has been observed across the globe.
The COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred in hotspots signaling an opportunity to move or shift resources from centers with little or no exposure to those who are at risk for or indeed are becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
To help countries increase their preparedness, this paper paper focuses on two scalable and readily available methods of mass reporting of COVID-19 cases in real time:
Proposal #1: A mobile phone application that is freely downloadable and operationalized for one user and allowing for geographic tracking and self reporting of an illness consistent with COVID-19, disclosure of positive/negative testing if performed, and actions taken including self-quarantine, emergency department or clinic visit, or hospitalization. Additionally, such an app will allow reporting of recovery in nonfatal cases.
Proposal #2: Effective immediately and under government order if necessary, each and every hospital in the world should have a protocol to report each and every case of confirmed COVID-19 to a reporting agency that services that part of the world in which the hospital is situated.
The paper also calls for immediate and mandatory daily hospital census reporting of hospitalized and critical ill COVID-19 patients.