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Background: Coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) has forced changes in all facets of health systems. This article describes the modifications made in the Image-Guided Minimally Invasive Surgery Section (CIGIM) of the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, to promote the safety and well being of personnel while maintaining the ability to respond to academic and healthcare demand.
Material and methods: Measures included reorganization of staff, management of elective and emer- gency procedures, outpatient consultations, as well as teaching and research activity. The inter-annual variation (2019-2020) of the patients attended (percutaneous procedures and outpatient consulta- tions) between March 20 and May 10 of each year was also analyzed comparatively.
Results: The CIGIM Section was reorganized into weekly rotations of 3 activities, with strict distancing among its members, and so far none have been affected. The operated patients and the consultations made during the analyzed period of 2019 vs. 2020 decreased significantly: 136 vs. 57 operated and 102 vs. 39 consultations; p <0.0001. Virtual platforms were successfully used to maintain undergraduate activity, including courses taken by medical students from two universities, the General Surgery resi- dency program and scientific meetings; In this period, 3 scientific papers were written for publication.
Conclusions: Dealing with healthcare demand, reorganizing working groups and virtual platforms can be valuable strategies and tools to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.