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1.
Health policy OPEN ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1615142

ABSTRACT

Cross-border healthcare is an international agreement for the provision of out of country healthcare for citizens of partnered countries. The European Union (EU) has established itself as a world leader in cross-border healthcare. During the Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the EU used this system to maximize utilization of resources. Countries with capacity accepted critically ill patients from overwhelmed nations, borders remained open to healthcare workers and those seeking medical care in an effort to share the burden of this pandemic. Significant research into the challenges and successes of cross-border healthcare was completed prior to COVID-19, which demonstrated significant benefit for patients. In North America, the response to the COVID-19 crisis has been more isolationist. The Canada-United States border has been closed and bans placed on healthcare workers crossing the border for work. Prior to COVID-19, cross-border healthcare was rare in North America despite its need. We reviewed the literature surrounding cross-border healthcare in the EU, as well as the need for a similar system in North America. We found the EU cross-border healthcare agreements are generally mutually beneficial for participating countries. The North American literature suggested a cross-border healthcare system is feasible. A number of challenges could be identified based on the EU experience. A prior agreement may have been beneficial during the COVID-19 crisis as many Canadian healthcare institutions-maintained capacity to accept critically ill patients.

2.
BMJ ; 374: n2209, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448003

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine if virtual care with remote automated monitoring (RAM) technology versus standard care increases days alive at home among adults discharged after non-elective surgery during the covid-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Multicentre randomised controlled trial. SETTING: 8 acute care hospitals in Canada. PARTICIPANTS: 905 adults (≥40 years) who resided in areas with mobile phone coverage and were to be discharged from hospital after non-elective surgery were randomised either to virtual care and RAM (n=451) or to standard care (n=454). 903 participants (99.8%) completed the 31 day follow-up. INTERVENTION: Participants in the experimental group received a tablet computer and RAM technology that measured blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, and body weight. For 30 days the participants took daily biophysical measurements and photographs of their wound and interacted with nurses virtually. Participants in the standard care group received post-hospital discharge management according to the centre's usual care. Patients, healthcare providers, and data collectors were aware of patients' group allocations. Outcome adjudicators were blinded to group allocation. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was days alive at home during 31 days of follow-up. The 12 secondary outcomes included acute hospital care, detection and correction of drug errors, and pain at 7, 15, and 30 days after randomisation. RESULTS: All 905 participants (mean age 63.1 years) were analysed in the groups to which they were randomised. Days alive at home during 31 days of follow-up were 29.7 in the virtual care group and 29.5 in the standard care group: relative risk 1.01 (95% confidence interval 0.99 to 1.02); absolute difference 0.2% (95% confidence interval -0.5% to 0.9%). 99 participants (22.0%) in the virtual care group and 124 (27.3%) in the standard care group required acute hospital care: relative risk 0.80 (0.64 to 1.01); absolute difference 5.3% (-0.3% to 10.9%). More participants in the virtual care group than standard care group had a drug error detected (134 (29.7%) v 25 (5.5%); absolute difference 24.2%, 19.5% to 28.9%) and a drug error corrected (absolute difference 24.4%, 19.9% to 28.9%). Fewer participants in the virtual care group than standard care group reported pain at 7, 15, and 30 days after randomisation: absolute differences 13.9% (7.4% to 20.4%), 11.9% (5.1% to 18.7%), and 9.6% (2.9% to 16.3%), respectively. Beneficial effects proved substantially larger in centres with a higher rate of care escalation. CONCLUSION: Virtual care with RAM shows promise in improving outcomes important to patients and to optimal health system function. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04344665.


Subject(s)
Aftercare/methods , Monitoring, Ambulatory/methods , Surgical Procedures, Operative/nursing , Telemedicine/methods , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Medication Errors/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pain, Postoperative/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Postoperative Period , Surgical Procedures, Operative/mortality
3.
CMAJ Open ; 9(1): E142-E148, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1115548

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After nonelective (i.e., semiurgent, urgent and emergent) surgeries, patients discharged from hospitals are at risk of readmissions, emergency department visits or death. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we are undertaking the Post Discharge after Surgery Virtual Care with Remote Automated Monitoring Technology (PVC-RAM) trial to determine if virtual care with remote automated monitoring (RAM) compared with standard care will increase the number of days adult patients remain alive at home after being discharged following nonelective surgery. METHODS: We are conducting a randomized controlled trial in which 900 adults who are being discharged after nonelective surgery from 8 Canadian hospitals are randomly assigned to receive virtual care with RAM or standard care. Outcome adjudicators are masked to group allocations. Patients in the experimental group learn how to use the study's tablet computer and RAM technology, which will measure their vital signs. For 30 days, patients take daily biophysical measurements and complete a recovery survey. Patients interact with nurses via the cellular modem-enabled tablet, who escalate care to preassigned and available physicians if RAM measurements exceed predetermined thresholds, patients report symptoms, a medication error is identified or the nurses have concerns they cannot resolve. The primary outcome is number of days alive at home during the 30 days after randomization. INTERPRETATION: This trial will inform management of patients after discharge following surgery in the COVID-19 pandemic and offer insights for management of patients who undergo nonelective surgery in a nonpandemic setting. Knowledge dissemination will be supported through an online multimedia resource centre, policy briefs, presentations, peer-reviewed journal publications and media engagement. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, no. NCT04344665.


Subject(s)
Aftercare/trends , Monitoring, Ambulatory/methods , Patient Discharge/standards , Remote Consultation/instrumentation , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Computers, Handheld/supply & distribution , Humans , Middle Aged , Postoperative Period , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , User-Computer Interface
4.
Ann Surg ; 274(1): 50-56, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101932

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work is to formulate recommendations based on global expert consensus to guide the surgical community on the safe resumption of surgical and endoscopic activities. BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused marked disruptions in the delivery of surgical care worldwide. A thoughtful, structured approach to resuming surgical services is necessary as the impact of COVID-19 becomes better controlled. The Coronavirus Global Surgical Collaborative sought to formulate, through rigorous scientific methodology, consensus-based recommendations in collaboration with a multidisciplinary group of international experts and policymakers. METHODS: Recommendations were developed following a Delphi process. Domain topics were formulated and subsequently subdivided into questions pertinent to different aspects of surgical care in the COVID-19 crisis. Forty-four experts from 15 countries across 4 continents drafted statements based on the specific questions. Anonymous Delphi voting on the statements was performed in 2 rounds, as well as in a telepresence meeting. RESULTS: One hundred statements were formulated across 10 domains. The statements addressed terminology, impact on procedural services, patient/staff safety, managing a backlog of surgeries, methods to restart and sustain surgical services, education, and research. Eighty-three of the statements were approved during the first round of Delphi voting, and 11 during the second round. A final telepresence meeting and discussion yielded acceptance of 5 other statements. CONCLUSIONS: The Delphi process resulted in 99 recommendations. These consensus statements provide expert guidance, based on scientific methodology, for the safe resumption of surgical activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Elective Surgical Procedures , Endoscopy , Infection Control/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Humans , Internationality , Intersectoral Collaboration , Triage
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