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COVID-19 Management at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital (Abridged)
The case describes the changes that occurred at the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, the largest tertiary hospital in Barcelona, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when it had to be transformed into an infectious disease hospital dedicated to the coronavirus in record time and with the same staff as before. The manager of the center reflected on the preparation for the pandemic, the arrival of the first COVID patients, the scaling up from 56 to 222 ICU beds, the opening of an adjoining pavilion, the changes in the organization of the professionals, the coordination with others health centers in the area, etc. When the number of cases began to decrease, he wondered what impact this crisis would have on the strategic plan that the hospital had begun to prepare just before the pandemic outbreak and if the hospital could take advantage of the pandemic experience- which had proven the agility and commitment of its professionals- in order to make important changes and help better position the hospital in the future.
The case covers a wide range of possibilities for class discussion. For example, it facilitates debate on how a large organization, with more than 11,000 people, can become more agile in order to face a collective danger like the pandemic; and how this experience brings out the best in each person. It also illustrates how what was learned during the coronavirus crisis can be applied to the future of the organization and how they can prepare for the future. The case can be used in MBA programs, both in general courses as well as courses specialized in health and in executive programs.