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European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. European Observatory Policy Briefs ; 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1668445

ABSTRACT

Digital health tools hold the potential to improve the efficiency, accessibility and quality of care. Before the pandemic, efforts had been made to support implementation across Europe over many years, but widespread adoption in practice had been difficult and slow. The greatest barriers to adoption of digital health tools were not primarily technical in nature, but instead lay in successfully facilitating the required individual, organizational and system changes. During the COVID-19 pandemic many digital health tools moved from being viewed as a potential opportunity to becoming an immediate necessity, and their use increased substantially. Digital health tools have been used during the pandemic to support four main areas: communication and information, including tackling misinformation;surveillance and monitoring;the continuing provision of health care such as through remote consultations;and the rollout and monitoring of vaccination programmes. Greater use of digital health tools during the pandemic has been facilitated by: policy changes to regulation and reimbursement;investment in technical infrastructure;and training for health professionals. As the pandemic comes under control, if health systems are to retain added value from greater use of digital health tools, active strategies are needed now to build on the current momentum around their use. Areas to consider while developing such strategies include: Ensuring clear system-level frameworks and reimbursement regimes for the use of digital health tools, while allowing scope for co-design of digital health solutions by patients and health professionals for specific uses. Combining local flexibility with monitoring and evaluation to learn lessons and ensure that digital health tools help to meet wider health system goals.

2.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31:2, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1609951
3.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1514683

ABSTRACT

Background High rates of vaccination are worldwide required to establish a herd immunity stopping the current COVID-19 pandemic evolution. Vaccine hesitancy is a major barrier in achieving herd immunity across different populations. This study sought to conduct a systematic review of the current literature regarding attitudes and hesitancy to receiving COVID-19 vaccination worldwide. Methods A systematic literature search was performed in accordance with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Multiple databases were searched, namely PubMed and Web of Science, on February 24th, 2021 using a set of developed keywords. Inclusion criteria included the study to be 1) conducted in English;2) investigated attitudes, hesitancy, and/or barriers to COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among a given population;3) utilized validated measurements techniques;4) have the full text paper available and 5) be peer-reviewed prior to final publication. The Newcastle Ottawa (NOS) scale for cross sectional studies was used to assess the quality of the studies. Results 73 studies were included in qualitative synthesis. Overall, vaccine acceptance rates ranged from 23.6% in Kuwait to 94.3% in Malaysia and Nepal. A variety of different factors contributed to increased hesitancy, some of which included having negative perception of vaccine efficacy, safety, convenience and price. Some of the consistent socio-demographic groups that were identified to be associated with increased hesitancy included: women, younger participants, less educated, with lower income, with no insurance, living in the rural area and self-identified as a racial/ethnic minority. Conclusions Vaccine hesitancy rates against COVID-19 vaccine ranged widely among across different populations. Identifying the factors that interplay and result in high hesitancy rates among a population can allow formulating a directed intervention to increase their vaccination uptake rates. Key messages It is necessary to understand the factors that contribute to the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. It is important to inform policy-makers and formulate direct intervention measures that will successfully handle the pandemic.

4.
European Journal of Public Health ; 30, 2020.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1015260

ABSTRACT

Background Several countries facing the COVID-19 pandemic were not prepared to manage it. Public health mitigation strategies, ranging from isolation of infected cases to implementation of national lockdowns, proved their effectiveness for the outbreaks control. However, the adjustment of public health measures is crucial during transition phases to avoid new outbreaks. To address the need for designing evidence-based strategies, we performed a systematic review, identifying healthcare systems approaches, experiences and recommendations used to manage COVID-19 and other epidemics. Methods PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus and Cochrane were searched to retrieve eligible studies of any study design, published in English until April 17th, 2020. Double-blinded screening process was conducted by titles/abstracts and subsequently eligible full-texts were read and pertinent data were extracted. We performed a narrative analysis of each implemented strategy. Results We included a total of 24 articles addressing the public health strategies implemented for respiratory viral infections outbreaks as COVID-19, influenza A H1N1, MERS and SARS. The identified strategies are ascribable to two main categories: healthcare systems management at a national level and healthcare providers strategies at a local level. The key components of the transition strategies regarded the implementation of evidence-based contextual policies, intrahospital management approaches, community healthcare facilities, non-pharmaceutical interventions, enhanced surveillance, workplace preventive measures, mental health interventions and communication plans. Conclusions The identified healthcare systems strategies applied worldwide to face epidemics or pandemics, are a useful knowledge base to inform decision-makers about control measures to be used in the transition phases of COVID-19 and beyond. Key messages Healthcare systems strategies that can be implemented to manage pandemics/epidemics transition phases are a useful knowledge base to inform policy makers about the most effective solutions to adopt. The evidence reporting the healthcare systems management of respiratory viruses epidemics/pandemics, show the lack of a common and shared approach and more evidence-based research is needed.

5.
Eurohealth ; 26(2):68-72, 2020.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-942065

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals face the concurrent challenges of maintaining routine services while attending to COVID-19 patients. This article shares approaches taken in six countries to resume hospital care after the first wave of the pandemic by surveying country experts and using data extracted from the COVID-19 Health Systems Response Monitor (HSRM). Four strategies were observed in all six countries: prioritisation or rationing of treatments, converting clinical spaces to separate patients, using virtual treatments, and implementing COVID-19 free hospitals or floors. Clear guidance about how to prioritise activities would support hospitals in the next phases of the pandemic.

6.
The European Journal of Public Health. 2020 Sep 30|30(Suppl 5): ckaa165.210 ; 2020.
Article | PMC | ID: covidwho-865879
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