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BMC Prim Care ; 24(1): 96, 2023 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299748


BACKGROUND: Due to their fast turnaround time and user-friendliness, point-of-care tests (POCTs) possess a great potential in primary care. The purpose of the study was to assess general practitioners' (GPs) perspectives on POCT use in German primary care, including utilization, limitations and requirements. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey study among GPs in Germany (federal states of Thuringia, Bremen and Bavaria (Lower Franconia), study period: 04/22-06/2022). RESULTS: From 2,014 GPs reached, 292 participated in our study (response rate: 14.5%). The median number of POCTs used per GP was 7.0 (IQR: 5.0-8.0). Six POCTs are used by the majority of surveyed GPs (> 50%): urine dipstick tests (99%), glucose (urine [91%] and plasma [69%]), SARS-CoV-2 (80%), urine microalbumin (77%), troponin I/T (74%) and prothrombin time / international normalized ratio (65%). The number of utilized POCTs did not differ between GP practice type (p = 0.307) and population size of GP practice location (p = 0.099). The great majority of participating German GPs (93%) rated POCTs as useful diagnostic tools in the GP practice. GPs ranked immediate decisions on patient management and the increase in diagnostic certainty as the most important reasons for performing POCTs. The most frequently reported limitations of POCT use in the GP practice were economic aspects (high costs and inadequate reimbursement), concerns regarding diagnostic accuracy, and difficulties to integrate POCT-testing into practice routines (e.g. time and personnel expenses). CONCLUSION: Although participating German GPs generally perceive POCTs as useful diagnostic tools and numerous POCTs are available, several test-related and contextual factors contribute to the relatively low utilization of POCTs in primary care.

COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , Cross-Sectional Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Point-of-Care Testing , Primary Health Care , COVID-19 Testing
Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes ; 2022 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106181


INTRODUCTION: Given their high diagnostic accuracy and fast turnaround time, rapid SARS-CoV-2 tests based on nucleic acid amplification technologies (NAAT) have great potential to expand access to testing and decrease delays in diagnosis of COVID-19. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate feasibility, acceptance, organizational consequences and other implementation aspects of the use of a NAAT-based SARS-CoV-2 rapid test (ID NOW™ COVID-19, Abbott Diagnostics) for symptomatic primary care patients with a suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey among primary care physicians and medical assistants from Thuringia (Germany) during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April 2021. The health care providers surveyed had previously used the NAAT-based SARS-CoV-2 rapid test as part of a pilot study. RESULTS: Eleven physicians (ten general practitioners and one paediatrician) and 22 medical assistants from Thuringia (Germany) participated in the written survey. Four physicians were additionally interviewed. The majority of the surveyed health care providers rated user-friendliness, integration into practice routine, impact on communication with patients and technical reliability of the NAAT-based SARS-CoV-2 rapid test as (very) positive. Greater workload and the costs for measuring devices were identified as disadvantages compared to PCR laboratory tests. Four out of ten physicians rated the lower sample turnover as unfavourable. CONCLUSION: Our survey shows that NAAT-based point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 testing gained widespread acceptance among physicians and medical assistants, positively influences workflows, can improve patient communication and could therefore be successfully implemented into routine primary care.

Patient Prefer Adherence ; 16: 2031-2039, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987271


Background: The use of point-of-care tests (POCTs) has been a central strategy to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, evidence on the application and consequences of POCTs within medical settings is rare. Purpose: To assess and understand patient perspectives on molecular point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 testing conducted in primary care. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey study among patients who were tested with a molecular SARS-CoV-2 rapid test (ID NOWTM COVID-19 rapid test, Abbott) in 13 primary care practices in the state of Thuringia (Germany) from February to April 2021. The following aspects were covered in the questionnaire through rating scales and open text formats: test characteristics, trust in test result, consequences of immediate result, cost amount willing to pay and expectations in the future. Open text answers were categorized; quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a Mann-Whitney U-test to reveal differences in cost contribution depending on the test result. Results: A total of 215 patients from nine family practices and one pediatric practice participated. The immediate availability of the test result was important to the majority of patients (94.3%). 95.7% of patients trusted in their test result. Personal consequences of the immediate test result referred to pandemic measures, certainty of action and reassurance. For further tests, patients were willing to pay between 0€ and 100€ (interquartile range = 10-25€) for the molecular SARS-CoV-2 POCT, regardless of the test result. Expectations of being offered the test again in case of renewed cold symptoms were reported by 96.2%. Conclusion: Patients highly appreciated molecular SARS-CoV-2 rapid testing conducted in primary care practices. The immediate availability of the test result led to adjustments in patients' behavior and emotional wellbeing. However, potentially challenging for the implementation of POCTs in primary care practices may be the reimbursement of test costs and patients' expectations in future situation.

Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390639


The COVID-19 pandemic in Germany has demanded a substantially larger public health workforce to perform contact tracing and contact management of COVID-19 cases, in line with recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). In response, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) established the national "Containment Scout Initiative" (CSI) to support the local health authorities with a short-term workforce solution. It is part of a range of measures for strengthening the public health system in order to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Germany. The CSI is an example of how solutions to address critical health system capacity issues can be implemented quickly. It also demonstrates that medical or health-related backgrounds may not be necessary to support health authorities with pandemic-specific tasks and fulfil accurate contact tracing. However, it is a short-term solution and cannot compensate for the lack of existing qualified staff as well as other deficits that exist within the public health sector in Germany. This article describes the structure and process of the first phase of this initiative in order to support health policymakers, public health practitioners, and researchers considering innovative and flexible approaches for addressing urgent workforce capacity issues.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Contact Tracing , Germany/epidemiology , Health Workforce , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Workforce