On March 6th 2020, the state of Nebraska announced its first positive case of COVID-19. As more cases grew, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), a division of the military that directs the state’s response to natural, technological, or man-made disasters and emergencies, began to mobilize its massive, state-wide pandemic plan. Part of that plan included establishing alternate care sites in non-traditional environments where COVID-19 patients could remain and receive medical care during their isolation period.
The organization knew it needed an experienced healthcare staffing partner to help quickly staff and manage four alternate care sites across the state. NEMA also knew it needed to act fast in case the number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska continued to climb.
NEMA selected Medical Solutions for the task in April 2020 and directed the National Guard to set up the alternate care sites at state college campuses in Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Kearney (University of Nebraska Kearney), Lincoln (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), and Wayne (Wayne State College). Once the National Guard built a site, Medical Solutions became responsible for all daily operations, including sourcing and interviewing candidates, extending offers, managing compliance, and scheduling.
Medical Solutions jumped into action — within four business days, they successfully recruited, screened, and hired temporary healthcare professionals (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants) for the UNO site, which was the first location to open. Three other sites soon followed, and Medical Solutions efficiently staffed and managed operations at all four locations. At its peak, the entire operation had approximately 45 temporary healthcare professionals on staff, and the UNO site saw roughly 14 to 17 patients a day. The partnership between Medical Solutions and NEMA remains successful. Medical Solutions continues to manage and staff the UNO site; however, the other three alternate care sites have closed due to declining demand. Even so, Medical Solutions stands ready to expand operations again at a moment’s notice.