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Clinical management of patients with COVID-19: General considerations

via OpenWHO


This course of the Clinical Management of Patients with COVID-19 course series covers General Considerations. This gives background on the pandemic and discusses facility operations and preparation, referral systems and interfacility transfer, infection prevention and control, and the role for palliative care for patients. This course also includes discussion of the ethical issues arising during COVID-19 care, including the principles of allocating critical care resources. Overall, this course addresses COVID-19 pandemic preparedness, at all levels of healthcare provision.

Photo credit: WHO/Netanel Tobias


Course information

This course is also available in the following languages:

Македонски јазик - Shqip - Bahasa Indonesia - Nederlands - Казақ тілі - Русский

Overview: The Clinical Management of Patients with COVID-19 course series is developed for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course provides crucial knowledge necessary to provide safe, effective quality patient care. Presentations address all aspects of clinical management, including facility preparation and surge planning; health worker infection prevention and control; interfacility transfer; clinical management of mild, moderate, and severely ill patients with COVID-19; special considerations for geriatric, pregnant, and pediatric patients with COVID-19; rehabilitation; and ethics and palliative care.

The course series includes video lectures and downloadable presentations that have been updated with the latest guidance and evidence. Each module contains 5-8 lectures, and each lecture includes a quiz to evaluate knowledge acquisition.

Should you be interested in learning more about other aspects of clinical management of patients with COVID-19, please refer to the following courses of the Clinical Management of Patients with COVID-19 course series:

  • Clinical management of patients with COVID-19: Initial approach to the acutely ill patient
  • Clinical management of patients with COVID-19: Investigations and care for mild, moderate and severe disease
  • Clinical management of patients with COVID-19: Rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19

Learning objectives:

By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • relate the way in which the COVID-19 pandemic developed and the basic characteristics of the virus;
  • assist with facility pandemic preparations, including surge planning;
  • describe general methods, and identify specific measures, for infection prevention and control in health workers caring for patients with COVID-19;
  • use ethical principles to develop critical resource allocation considerations, for use during COVID-19;
  • utilize practical tools to maintain quality of care for patients during a pandemic
  • describe palliative care techniques applicable to COVID-19 care;
  • identify different types of referral systems;
  • explain the basic tenets of safe interfacility transfer, including use of the SBAR communication method.

Course duration: This course will take approximately 3 hours to complete.

Certificates: A Record of Achievement certificate will be available to participants who score at least 80% of the total points available across all of the quizzes. A Confirmation of Participation certificate is also available for participants who complete at least 80% of the course material. Participants who receive a Record of Achievement can also download an Open Badge for this course. Click here to learn how.

Course contents

  • Module 1: Introduction to COVID-19:

    Module objectives: explain the means of transmission of COVID-19; recognize presenting signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection; list the risk factors for severe disease; identify the clinical signs of mild, moderate, severe, and critical COVID-19; and apply the COVID-19 care pathway for patients accessing the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Module 2: COVID-19 surge planning:

    Module objectives: identify the key principles of a pandemic preparedness plan; list the ‘Four S’s’ of surge planning; describe a tiered approach to capacity expansion under surge conditions; and discuss surge planning during COVID-19 under different transmission scenarios.
  • Module 3: Infection prevention and control for health workers caring for patients with COVID-19:

    Module objectives: discuss the general principles of infection prevention and control (IPC) when caring for patients with COVID-19; relate how administrative and engineering controls facilitate the implementation of IPC; and describe specific measures to take in the hospital when caring for patients with COVID-19.
  • Module 4: Ethical principles for optimum care during the COVID-19 pandemic:

    Module objectives: discuss the importance of pandemic and of disaster preparedness; describe how the context of triage may change during a pandemic or other disaster; explain the human rights framework and principles of equity and health; and use ethical principles to develop triage considerations to be used during a pandemic or disaster.
  • Module 5: Maintaining quality care during COVID-19:

    Module objectives: recognize the importance of quality of care to support effective management of patients presenting with conditions related to COVID-19; recognize the importance of quality of care to support maintenance of routine essential health services during COVID-19 response and recovery; relate the principles of quality of care; describe how quality improvement can be applied in the COVID-19 context; and identify practical quality tools that can be applied in the context of COVID-19.
  • Module 6: Palliative care for COVID-19:

    Module objectives: define palliative care; discuss when palliative care should be envisaged; give examples of basic palliative care interventions; and differentiate between palliative care and end-of-life care.
  • Module 7: Transfer and handover of the acutely ill patient:

    Module objectives: describe different types of medical referral systems; develop a stepwise approach to transfer a patient; and recall and use the Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) handover tool.


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