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1.
Telemed J E Health ; 2023 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2255421

ABSTRACT

Background: This project describes a Veterans Health Administration telehealth pilot to facilitate COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment as part of the national test-to-treat (T2T) strategy. The pilot was operationalized for two pilot VA medical centers by the regional clinical contact center (CCC) for a Veteran Integrated Service Network, which offers multiple services through several virtual modalities. Methods: Nurse triage and medical provider evaluation templates were developed for the CCC to standardize clinical interventions with veteran callers reporting positive home COVID-19 test results. When veterans were determined eligible and consented to treatment with an emergency use authorization (EUA) antiviral medication, CCC providers used secure direct messaging for synchronous communication with local pharmacy services to facilitate adjudication and dispensing. Templates for pharmacy documentation and primary care follow-up monitoring were also developed and disseminated. Results: In total, 198 veterans (mean age 65 years, 89% male, 88% non-Hispanic White) were evaluated through telehealth by regional CCC providers using the T2T process and 96% were prescribed an antiviral medication. Primary care follow-up occurred in 86% of cases, a median of 3 days after the telehealth evaluation. The 30-day all-cause hospitalization rate was 1.5% and there were no deaths within 30 days of treatment initiation. Conclusions: Veterans Integrated Service Network's CCC telehealth triage and evaluation processes enabled safe EUA-compliant care delivery, improved evaluator experience and efficiency, and augmented existing EUA processes in place by front-line pharmacy and primary care teams.

2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(10): e2240037, 2022 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2074864

ABSTRACT

Importance: With a large proportion of the US adult population vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, it is important to identify who remains at risk of severe infection despite vaccination. Objective: To characterize risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease in a vaccinated population. Design, Setting, and Participants: This nationwide, retrospective cohort study included US veterans who received a SARS-CoV-2 vaccination series and later developed laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and were treated at US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. Data were collected from December 15, 2020, through February 28, 2022. Exposures: Demographic characteristics, comorbidities, immunocompromised status, and vaccination-related variables. Main Outcomes and Measures: Development of severe vs nonsevere SARS-CoV-2 infection. Severe disease was defined as hospitalization within 14 days of a positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test and either blood oxygen level of less than 94%, receipt of supplemental oxygen or dexamethasone, mechanical ventilation, or death within 28 days. Association between severe disease and exposures was estimated using logistic regression models. Results: Among 110 760 patients with infections following vaccination (97 614 [88.1%] men, mean [SD] age at vaccination, 60.8 [15.3] years; 26 953 [24.3%] Black, 11 259 [10.2%] Hispanic, and 71 665 [64.7%] White), 10 612 (9.6%) had severe COVID-19. The strongest association with risk of severe disease after vaccination was age, which increased among patients aged 50 years or older with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 1.42 (CI, 1.40-1.44) per 5-year increase in age, such that patients aged 80 years or older had an aOR of 16.58 (CI, 13.49-20.37) relative to patients aged 45 to 50 years. Immunocompromising conditions, including receipt of different classes of immunosuppressive medications (eg, leukocyte inhibitor: aOR, 2.80; 95% CI, 2.39-3.28) or cytotoxic chemotherapy (aOR, 2.71; CI, 2.27-3.24) prior to breakthrough infection, or leukemias or lymphomas (aOR, 1.87; CI, 1.61-2.17) and chronic conditions associated with end-organ disease, such as heart failure (aOR, 1.74; CI, 1.61-1.88), dementia (aOR, 2.01; CI, 1.83-2.20), and chronic kidney disease (aOR, 1.59; CI, 1.49-1.69), were also associated with increased risk. Receipt of an additional (ie, booster) dose of vaccine was associated with reduced odds of severe disease (aOR, 0.50; CI, 0.44-0.57). Conclusions and Relevance: In this nationwide, retrospective cohort of predominantly male US Veterans, we identified risk factors associated with severe disease despite vaccination. Findings could be used to inform outreach efforts for booster vaccinations and to inform clinical decision-making about patients most likely to benefit from preexposure prophylaxis and antiviral therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , Humans , Adult , United States/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospitals, Veterans , Antiviral Agents , Dexamethasone , Oxygen
4.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263591, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765534

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE AND OBJECTIVE: The aim of this pragmatic, embedded, adaptive trial was to measure the effectiveness of the subcutaneous anti-IL-6R antibody sarilumab, when added to an evolving standard of care (SOC), for clinical management of inpatients with moderate to severe COVID-19 disease. DESIGN: Two-arm, randomized, open-label controlled trial comparing SOC alone to SOC plus sarilumab. The trial used a randomized play-the-winner design and was fully embedded within the electronic health record (EHR) system. SETTING: 5 VA Medical Centers. PARTICIPANTS: Hospitalized patients with clinical criteria for moderate to severe COVID-19 but not requiring mechanical ventilation, and a diagnostic test positive for SARS-CoV-2. INTERVENTIONS: Sarilumab, 200 or 400 mg subcutaneous injection. SOC was not pre-specified and could vary over time, e.g., to include antiviral or other anti-inflammatory drugs. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was intubation or death within 14 days of randomization. All data were extracted remotely from the EHR. RESULTS: Among 162 eligible patients, 53 consented, and 50 were evaluated for the primary endpoint of intubation or death. This occurred in 5/20 and 1/30 of participants in the sarilumab and SOC arms respectively, with the majority occurring in the initial 9 participants (3/4 in the sarilumab and 1/5 in the SOC) before the sarilumab dose was increased to 400 mg and before remdesivir and dexamethasone were widely adopted. After interim review, the unblinded Data Monitoring Committee recommended that the study be stopped due to concern for safety: a high probability that rates of intubation or death were higher with addition of sarilumab to SOC (92.6%), and a very low probability (3.4%) that sarilumab would be found to be superior. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This randomized trial of patients hospitalized due to respiratory compromise from COVID-19 but not mechanical ventilation found no benefit from subcutaneous sarilumab when added to an evolving SOC. The numbers of patients and events were too low to allow definitive conclusions to be drawn, but this study contributes valuable information about the role of subcutaneous IL-6R inhibition in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods developed and piloted during this trial will be useful in conducting future studies more efficiently. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov-NCT04359901; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04359901?cond=NCT04359901&draw=2&rank=1.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial , Treatment Outcome
5.
Vaccine ; 40(8): 1082-1089, 2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625430

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous studies evaluated the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine safety or compared adverse events following vaccination to those from infection. Limited data about the impact of prior infection on post-vaccine adverse events are available. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection on outcomes shortly after vaccination using a longitudinal design. METHODS: Nationwide, multicenter, retrospective cohort study of hospitalization, death, and pre-specified adverse event rates among Veterans who received mRNA vaccines within the Veterans Health Administration between 12/11/2020 and 8/31/2021. Daily incidence rates were compared before and after vaccine doses, stratified by history of microbiologically-confirmed SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: 3,118,802 patients received a first dose and 2,979,326 a second, including 102,829 with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Daily incident hospitalization rates were unchanged before and after the second dose among patients without previous infection (28.8/100,000 post-dose versus 28.6/100,000 pre-dose, p = 0.92). In previously-infected patients, the hospitalization rate increased above baseline one day following vaccination (158.2/100,000 after dose 2 versus 57.3/100,000 pre-dose, p < 0.001), then returned to baseline. Chart review indicated vaccine side effects, such as fever, constitutional symptoms, weakness, or falls, as the definite (39%) or possible (18%) cause of hospitalization. Affected patients had mean age 75, and 90% had at least one serious comorbidity. Hospitalizations were brief (median 2 days), with rapid return to baseline health. Worse baseline health among previously-infected patients prevented conclusions about mortality risk. CONCLUSIONS: Two-dose mRNA vaccine regimens are safe in a population with many comorbidities. Transient increased risks of hospitalization were identified among patients with prior SARS-CoV-2, absolute risk ∼1:1000. Findings support additional study regarding the optimal dosing schedule in this population. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Aged , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , RNA, Messenger , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
7.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0259061, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496526

ABSTRACT

Effective, low-cost therapeutics are needed to prevent and treat COVID-19. Severe COVID-19 disease is linked to excessive inflammation. Disulfiram is an approved oral drug used to treat alcohol use disorder that is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and an inhibitor of the viral proteases. We investigated the potential effects of disulfiram on SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease severity in an observational study using a large database of clinical records from the national US Veterans Affairs healthcare system. A multivariable Cox regression adjusted for demographic information and diagnosis of alcohol use disorder revealed a reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection with disulfiram use at a hazard ratio of 0.66 (34% lower risk, 95% confidence interval 24-43%). There were no COVID-19 related deaths among the 188 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients treated with disulfiram, in contrast to 5-6 statistically expected deaths based on the untreated population (P = 0.03). Our epidemiological results suggest that disulfiram may contribute to the reduced incidence and severity of COVID-19. These results support carefully planned clinical trials to assess the potential therapeutic effects of disulfiram in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Disulfiram/therapeutic use , Adult , Alcoholism/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Disulfiram/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Veterans
9.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(2): ofaa618, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1214656

ABSTRACT

Among 3926 healthcare personnel in a multisite healthcare system, the minimal population prevalence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was 4.4% (bootstrap 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.7%-5.0%), and the infection fatality rate was 0.6% (bootstrap 95% CI, 0.0%-1.7%). Rates reflected both local community prevalence and hospital exposures but not specifically exposure on COVID-19 units.

10.
J Clin Nurs ; 30(11-12): 1564-1572, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069408

ABSTRACT

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Our objective was to rapidly adapt and scale a registered nurse-driven Coordinated Transitional Care (C-TraC) programme to provide intensive home monitoring and optimise care for outpatient Veterans with COVID-19 in a large urban Unites States healthcare system. BACKGROUND: Our diffuse primary care network had no existing model of care by which to provide coordinated result tracking and monitoring of outpatients with COVID-19. DESIGN: Quality improvement implementation project. METHODS: We used the Replicating Effective Programs model to guide implementation, iterative Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles and SQUIRE reporting guidelines. Two transitional care registered nurses, and a geriatrician medical director developed a protocol that included detailed initial assessment, overnight delivery of monitoring equipment and phone-based follow-up tailored to risk level and symptom severity. We tripled programme capacity in time for the surge of cases by training Primary Care registered nurses. RESULTS: Between 23 March and 15 May 2020, 120 Veterans with COVID-19 were enrolled for outpatient monitoring; over one-third were aged 65 years or older, and 70% had medical conditions associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes. All Veterans received an initial call within a few hours of the laboratory reporting positive results. The mean length of follow-up was 8.1 days, with an average of 4.2 nurse and 1.3 physician or advanced practice clinician contacts per patient. The majority (85%) were managed entirely in the outpatient setting. After the surge, the model was disseminated to individual primary care teams through educational sessions. CONCLUSION: A model based on experienced registered nurses can provide comprehensive, effective and sustainable outpatient monitoring to high-risk populations with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transitional Care , Humans , Outpatients , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2
12.
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 27(11): 1716-1720, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873017

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Reducing risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection among healthcare personnel requires a robust occupational health response involving multiple disciplines. We describe a flexible informatics solution to enable such coordination, and we make it available as open-source software. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We developed a stand-alone application that integrates data from several sources, including electronic health record data and data captured outside the electronic health record. RESULTS: The application facilitates workflows from different hospital departments, including Occupational Health and Infection Control, and has been used extensively. As of June 2020, 4629 employees and 7768 patients and have been added for tracking by the application, and the application has been accessed over 46 000 times. DISCUSSION: Data captured by the application provides both a historical and real-time view into the operational impact of COVID-19 within the hospital, enabling aggregate and patient-level reporting to support identification of new cases, contact tracing, outbreak investigations, and employee workforce management. CONCLUSIONS: We have developed an open-source application that facilitates communication and workflow across multiple disciplines to manage hospital employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Data Management , Health Personnel , Occupational Health , Patient Identification Systems/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Software , Workflow , Boston , COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Hospitals, Veterans , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pandemics , Systems Integration , United States
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