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Am J Infect Control ; 49(6): 685-689, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279522


OBJECTIVES: Since December 2019, COVID-19 has caused a worldwide pandemic and Singapore has seen escalating cases with community spread. Aggressive contact tracing and identification of suspects has helped to identify local community clusters, surveillance being the key to early intervention. Healthcare workers (HCWs) have contracted COVID-19 infection both at the workplace and community. We aimed to create a prototype staff surveillance system for the detection of acute respiratory infection (ARI) clusters amongst our HCWs and describe its effectiveness. METHODS: A prototypical surveillance system was built on existing electronic health record infrastructure. RESULTS: Over a 10-week period, we investigated 10 ARI clusters amongst 7 departments. One of the ARI clusters was later determined to be related to COVID-19 infection. We demonstrate the feasibility of syndromic surveillance to detect ARI clusters during the COVID-19 outbreak. CONCLUSION: The use of syndromic surveillance to detect ARI clusters amongst HCWs in the COVID-19 pandemic may enable early case detection and prevent onward transmission. It could be an important tool in infection prevention within healthcare institutions.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Disease Outbreaks , Electronic Health Records , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sentinel Surveillance , Singapore/epidemiology
Saf Health Work ; 11(2): 241-243, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-197114


Coronavirus disease 2019 poses an occupational health risk to health-care workers. Several thousand health-care workers have already been infected, mainly in China. Preventing intra-hospital transmission of the communicable disease is therefore a priority. Based on the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety model, the strategies and measures to protect health-care workers in an acute tertiary hospital are described along the domains of work task, technologies and tools, work environmental factors, and organizational conditions. The principle of zero occupational infection remains an achievable goal that all health-care systems need to strive for in the face of a potential pandemic.