Artists Among Us: ACEP's 2021 Annual Report features original art submitted to the 2020 and 2021 HeART of Emergency Medicine Galleries. Artist Elizabeth Paterek, MD, FAAEM, describes her above piece "On the Frontline": This year has been difficult for everyone. As emergency physicians, we are on the frontline against COVID 19. To cope with added stress, I turned to my childhood passion of art. My inspiration for this recent work stems from my love of pop art, comic books, and traditional tattooing.
We kicked off 2021 on a positive note. We were thrilled about the efficacy of the new COVID vaccines and hopeful that we were turning a corner with the virus. But as we all know, we are still on this roller coaster.
ACEP’s work to support EM physicians throughout this pandemic is a widespread effort involving all aspects of the College. Teamwork in the trenches: It’s what we do.
Supporting Clinical Care
The Guide That Keeps on Growing: One of the most popular resources developed by the College during the pandemic was the COVID-19 Field Guide, and we continue to update it with the latest news on variants, vaccines and more. In late 2021, the Field Guide was recognized with one of the most prestigious awards in the association industry for its positive impact on the community. Watch the video about the scope and breadth of this incredible project.
Managing COVID-19 Patients: The COVID-19 ED Management Tool, a collaboration with EvidenceCare, walks clinicians through the following steps: Severity Classification, Risk Prognostication, Risk Assessment, Diagnostic Testing, Diagnostic Interpretation, Disposition and Treatment. acep.org/covid19-management-tool
Developing Data Visualizations: Utilizing our grant funding from the CDC, ACEP launched a data visualization website of U.S. emergency department (ED) data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Data can be parsed by region and time frame to paint a picture of local COVID trends. View the visualizations.
Your Home Base: ACEP’s COVID-19 Center, a comprehensive home to all aspects of the pandemic response, has generated more than 2.5 million visitors. acep.org/covid-19
Planning for the Future: In April 2021, ACEP published a new policy statement, “National Pandemic Readiness: Ethical Issues,” that lays out eight principles of pandemic preparedness.
Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy
Creating the Tools: As emergency physicians encountered vaccine hesitancy throughout 2021, ACEP members came together to provide helpful resources.
- ACEP’s Diversity and Inclusion Section developed an educational webinar, flyers and posters to help clinicians address common vaccine concerns.
- Multilingual EM physicians helped ACEP develop COVID-19 Vaccination Smart Phrases in 12 languages – Arabic, English, French, Japanese, Lingala, Portugese, Pushto, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu.
- To help hospitals that wanted to develop COVID-19 vaccination programs in the ED, ACEP created a toolkit and webinar to share best practices from EDs across the country.
Amplifying your Voice: ACEP pushed back against COVID-19 misinformation by organizing a bilingual series of satellite media tours supported by EMF and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation in October in some of the areas with surging cases and vaccine hesitation. The multi-state tours resulted in nearly 40 live and taped interviews with local news channels. View ACEP members in the news.
Advocating and Increasing Awareness
Supporting Vaccine and Testing: In November 2021, ACEP joined more than 60 other prominent healthcare associations in support of a new OSHA Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, a policy that will require companies with over 100 employees to have workers get vaccinated against COVID-19 or wear masks and get tested.
Sharing the Strain: ACEP told stories about regional surging and strains on the health care system and resources. ACEP met with Dr. Meena Seshamani, Director of the Center for Medicare at CMS, to offer a detailed list of recommendations and requests to address ED boarding in the short-term and long-term; including regulatory waivers and flexibilities, new standards for prompt transfer and hospital bed utilization, real-time bed tracking and expanded home support.
Looking Ahead: ACEP is working with Congress and the Biden Administration to review the country’s response to the pandemic, promote additional policy changes to prevent PPE shortfalls in the future, and develop legislative proposals to better prepare the country for another man-made or natural disaster.