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Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(10)2023 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239631


Emergency Medical Services (EMS) clinicians provide patient care within a high-stakes, unpredictable, and complex work environment in which conflict is inevitable. Our objective was to explore the extent to which added stressors of the pandemic exacerbated EMS workplace conflict. We administered our survey to a sample of U.S. nationally certified EMS clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2022. Out of 1881 respondents, 46% (n = 857) experienced conflict and 79% (n = 674) provided free-text descriptions of their experience. The responses were analyzed for themes using qualitative content analysis, and they were then sorted into codes using word unit sets. Code counts, frequencies, and rankings were tabulated, enabling quantitative comparisons of the codes. Of the fifteen codes to emerge, stress (a precursor of burnout) and burnout-related fatigue were the key factors contributing to EMS workplace conflict. We mapped our codes to a conceptual model guided by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report on using a systems approach to address clinician burnout and professional well-being to explore implications for addressing conflict within that framework. Factors attributed to conflict mapped to all levels of the NASEM model, lending empirical legitimacy to a broad systems approach to fostering worker well-being. Our findings lead us to propose that active surveillance (enhanced management information and feedback systems) of frontline clinicians' experiences during public health emergencies could increase the effectiveness of regulations and policies across the healthcare system. Ideally, the contributions of the occupational health discipline would become a mainstay of a sustained response to promote ongoing worker well-being. The maintenance of a robust EMS workforce, and by extension the health professionals in its operational sphere, is unquestionably essential to our preparedness for the likelihood that pandemic threats may become more commonplace.

Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Psychological , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workforce
Med Care ; 59(12): 1067-1074, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517939


BACKGROUND: The increase in telehealth in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic highlights the need to understand patients' capacity to utilize this care modality. Patient portals are a tool whose use requires similar resources and skills as those required for telehealth. Patients' capacity to use patient portals may therefore provide insight regarding patients' readiness and capacity to use telehealth. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine factors related to patients' capacity to use a patient portal and test the impact of these factors on patients' portal use. RESEARCH DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: Using data from a large-scale pragmatic randomized controlled trial of patient portal use, 1081 hospitalized patients responded to survey items that were then mapped onto the 4 dimensions of the Engagement Capacity Framework: self-efficacy, resources, willingness, and capabilities. MEASURES: The outcome variable was frequency of outpatient portal use. We evaluated associations between Engagement Capacity Framework dimensions and patient portal use, using regression analyses. RESULTS: Patients with fewer resources, fewer capabilities, lower willingness, and lower overall capacity to use patient portals used the portal less; in contrast, those with lower perceived self-efficacy used the portal more. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight differences in patients' capacity to use patient portals, which provide an initial understanding of factors that may influence the use of telehealth and offer important guidance in efforts to support patients' telehealth use. Offering patients training tailored to the use of telehealth tools may be particularly beneficial.

Patient Participation/psychology , Patient Portals , Telemedicine , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Psychological , Patient Participation/statistics & numerical data , Self Efficacy , Self-Assessment , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr ; 73(1): 42-47, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276274


OBJECTIVE: Use of telemedicine in pediatric gastroenterology has increased dramatically in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The goal of this study was to systematically assess the usability of telemedicine in the field of pediatric gastroenterology. METHODS: The previously validated Telehealth Usability Questionnaire was distributed to physician pediatric gastroenterologist members of North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition. Physician demographic and practice characteristics were collected. Data were analyzed using descriptive, linear mixed-effect, and ordinary least squares regression methods. RESULTS: One hundred sixty pediatric gastroenterologists completed the survey. The majority were from academic practice (77%) with experience ranging from trainee (11%) to over 20 years of clinical practice (34%). Most (82%) had no experience with telemedicine before the pandemic. The average usability score (scale 1-5) was 3.87 (σ = 0.67) with the highest domain in the usefulness of telemedicine (µâ€Š= 4.29, σ = 0.69) and physician satisfaction (µâ€Š= 4.13, σ = 0.79) and the lowest domain in reliability (µâ€Š= 3.02, σ = 0.87). When comparing trainees to attending physicians, trainees' responses were almost one point lower on satisfaction with telemedicine (trainee effect = -0.97, Bonferroni adjusted 95% confidence interval = -1.71 to -0.23). CONCLUSION: Pediatric gastroenterologists who responded to the survey reported that the technology for telemedicine was usable, but trainees indicated lower levels of satisfaction when compared to attending physicians. Future study is needed to better understand user needs and the impacts of telemedicine on providers with different levels are experience to inform efforts to promote implementation and use of telemedicine beyond the pandemic.

COVID-19 , Physicians , Telemedicine , Child , Humans , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2