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Telemed J E Health ; 27(7): 724-732, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575244


Introduction: Telephone-based telemedicine was temporarily permitted in Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to assess satisfaction with the telemedicine done during temporary hospital closing when in-person visits were not allowed due to in-hospital COVID-19 transmission. Methods: Survey questionnaires partially taken from a telehealth usability questionnaire (TUQ) were sent to 6,840 patients who used telephone-based telemedicine from February 24 to March 7, 2020. Questionnaires sent to patients and additionally created questionnaires to evaluate telemedicine were sent to medical staff (182 doctors and 138 nurses). Results: Response rates of patients and medical staff were 13.2% and 17.2%, respectively. Patients' satisfaction with telemedicine was significantly greater than medical staff's satisfaction for all five components taken from TUQ (all p = 0.000). In addition, created questionnaires showed good reliability, obtaining similar results between doctors and nurses (all p > 0.05). More than 85% of medical staff replied that telemedicine was needed in COVID-19, whereas more than 80% of them worried about incomplete assessment and communication of medical condition. Overall satisfaction with telemedicine by medical staff was 49.7%. The strength of telephone-based telemedicine was patients' convenience (53.4%). However, incomplete assessment of patients' condition (55.0%) was its weakness. Conclusion: Satisfaction with telephone-based telemedicine by patients was significantly greater than that by medical staff (doctors and nurses). Negative views for safety and inconvenience resulted in a greater proportion of dissatisfaction among medical staff. For safe application of telemedicine, medical staff insisted that developing a platform and creating guidelines should be needed.

COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Hospitals , Humans , Medical Staff , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , Personal Satisfaction , Reproducibility of Results , Republic of Korea , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telephone
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(42): e295, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497009


BACKGROUND: To minimize nosocomial infection against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), most hospitals conduct a prescreening process to evaluate the patient or guardian of any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or exposure to a COVID-19 patient at entrances of hospital buildings. In our hospital, we have implemented a two-level prescreening process in the outpatient clinic: an initial prescreening process at the entrance of the outpatient clinic (PPEO) and a second prescreening process is repeated in each department. If any symptoms or epidemiological history are identified at the second level, an emergency code is announced through the hospital's address system. The patient is then guided outside through a designated aisle. In this study, we analyze the cases missed in the PPEO that caused the emergency code to be applied. METHODS: All cases reported from March 2020 to April 2021 were analyzed retrospectively. We calculated the incidence of cases missed by the PPEO per 1,000 outpatients and compared the incidence between first-time hospital visitors and those visiting for the second time or more; morning and afternoon office hours; and days of the week. RESULTS: During the study period, the emergency code was applied to 449 cases missed by the PPEO. Among those cases, 20.7% were reported in otorhinolaryngology, followed by 11.6% in gastroenterology, 5.8% in urology, and 5.8% in dermatology. Fever was the most common symptom (59.9%), followed by cough (19.8%). The incidence of cases per 1,000 outpatients was significantly higher among first-time visitors than among those visiting for the second time or more (1.77 [confidence interval (CI), 1.44-2.10] vs. 0.59 [CI, 0.52-0.65], respectively) (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Fever was the most common symptom missed by the PPEO, and otorhinolaryngology and gastroenterology most frequently reported missed cases. Cases missed by the PPEO were more likely to occur among first-time visitors than returning visitors. The results obtained from this study can provide insights or recommendations to other healthcare facilities in operating prescreening processes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ambulatory Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cough/etiology , Fever/etiology , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control , Male , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Young Adult
J Infect Public Health ; 14(4): 454-460, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1056924


BACKGROUND: During the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, hospitals have strengthened their guidelines on infection prevention and control (IPC), and a rigorous adherence to these guidelines is crucial. An infection control surveillance-working group (ICS-WG) and infection control coordinators (ICCs) team were created to monitor the IPC practices of the healthcare workers (HCWs) in a regional hospital in Korea. This study analyzed the surveillance results and aimed to identify what IPC practices needed improvement. METHODS: During phase 1 (March to April 2020), the ICS-WG performed random audits, recorded incidences of improper IPC practices, and provided advice to the violators. During phase 2 (April to July), the ICCs inspected the hospital units and proposed practical ideas about IPC. The surveillance and proposals targeted the following practices: patient screening, usage of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand and respiratory hygiene, equipment reprocessing, environmental cleaning, management of medical waste, and social distancing. RESULTS: In phase 1, of the 127 violations observed, most (32.3%) corresponded to hand and respiratory hygiene. In phase 2, the highest proportion of violation per category was observed in the management of medical waste (37.8%); among these, a higher proportion of violation (71.4%) was observed in the collection of medical waste. Of the 106 proposals made by the ICCs, the most addressed practice was patient screening (28.3%). No case of nosocomial infection was reported during the study period. CONCLUSION: Adherence to proper hand and respiratory hygiene was inadequate at the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results indicate that more attention and further training are needed for the management of medical waste, particularly medical waste collection, and that continuous upgrading of the strategies for patient screening is essential. These results will be useful in helping other healthcare facilities to establish their IPC strategies.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel , Infection Control , Clinical Audit , Hand Hygiene , Humans , Pandemics , Republic of Korea