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J Surg Res ; 268: 459-464, 2021 Jul 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366623


BACKGROUND: We tracked endocrine surgery patients with treatment delays due to COVID-19 to investigate the relationship between physician assigned priority scoring (PAPS), the Medically Necessary, Time Sensitive (MeNTS) scoring system and delay to surgery. MATERIAL & METHODS: Patients scheduled for endocrine surgery or clinically evaluated during COVID-19-related elective surgery hold at our institution (2/26/20-5/1/20) were prospectively enrolled. PAPS was assigned based on categories of high, moderate, or low risk, consistent with the American College of Surgeons' priority system. MeNTS scores were calculated. The primary outcome was delay to surgery. Descriptive statistics were performed, and receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves and area under the curve (AUC) values were calculated for PAPS and MeNTS. RESULTS: Of 146 patients included, 68% (n = 100) were female; the median age was 60 years (IQR:43,67). Mean delay to surgery was significantly shorter (P = 0.01) in patients with high PAPS (35 d), compared with moderate (61 d) and low (79 d) PAPS groups. MeNTS scores were provided for 105 patients and were analyzed by diagnosis. Patients with benign thyroid disease (n = 17) had a significantly higher MeNTS score than patients with thyroid disease which was malignant/suspicious for malignancy (n = 44) patients (51.5 versus 47.6, P = 0.034). Higher PAPS correlated well with a delay to surgery of <30 d (AUC: 0.72). MeNTS score did not correlate well with delay to surgery <30 d (AUC: 0.52). CONCLUSION: PAPS better predicted delay to surgery than MeNTS scores. PAPS may incorporate more complex components of clinical decision-making which are not captured in the MeNTS score.

Methods Inf Med ; 60(1-02): 32-48, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331415


BACKGROUND: The electronic health record (EHR) has become increasingly ubiquitous. At the same time, health professionals have been turning to this resource for access to data that is needed for the delivery of health care and for clinical research. There is little doubt that the EHR has made both of these functions easier than earlier days when we relied on paper-based clinical records. Coupled with modern database and data warehouse systems, high-speed networks, and the ability to share clinical data with others are large number of challenges that arguably limit the optimal use of the EHR OBJECTIVES: Our goal was to provide an exhaustive reference for those who use the EHR in clinical and research contexts, but also for health information systems professionals as they design, implement, and maintain EHR systems. METHODS: This study includes a panel of 24 biomedical informatics researchers, information technology professionals, and clinicians, all of whom have extensive experience in design, implementation, and maintenance of EHR systems, or in using the EHR as clinicians or researchers. All members of the panel are affiliated with Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and have experience with a variety of different EHR platforms and systems and how they have evolved over time. RESULTS: Each of the authors has shared their knowledge and experience in using the EHR in a suite of 20 short essays, each representing a specific challenge and classified according to a functional hierarchy of interlocking facets such as usability and usefulness, data quality, standards, governance, data integration, clinical care, and clinical research. CONCLUSION: We provide here a set of perspectives on the challenges posed by the EHR to clinical and research users.

Electronic Health Records , Health Information Systems , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Humans
Cancer Rep (Hoboken) ; : e1427, 2021 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274682


BACKGROUND AND AIM: This study quantifies how changes in healthcare utilization and delivery during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic have altered the presentation, treatment, and management of patients with gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies within an academic health system. METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients diagnosed with a GI malignancy (ICD10: C15-C26) who received medical care within the health system during the observation period (first 44 weeks of 2019 and 2020) were identified for a retrospective cohort study. Deidentified patient encounter parameters were collected for this observation period and separated into pre-pandemic (weeks 1-10) and early pandemic (weeks 11-20) study periods. Difference-in-difference analyses adjusted for week-specific and year-specific effects quantified the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on care delivery between pre-pandemic and early pandemic study periods in 2020. Across all GI malignancies, the COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with a significant decline in the number of patients with new patient visits (NPVs) (p = 1.2 × 10-4 ), Radiology encounters (p = 1.9 × 10-7 ), Surgery encounters (p = 1.6 × 10-3 ), Radiation Oncology encounters (p = 4.1 × 10-3 ), and infusion visits (6.1 × 10-5 ). Subgroup analyses revealed cancer-specific variations in changes to delivery. Patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) had the most significant decrease in NPVs (p = 7.1 × 10-5 ), which was significantly associated with a concomitant decrease in colonoscopies performed during the early pandemic period (r2  = 0.722, p = 2.1 × 10-10 ). CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with significant disruptions to care delivery. While these effects were appreciated broadly across GI malignancies, CRC, diagnosed and managed by periodic screening, has been affected most acutely.