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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295310

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has impacted the utilisation of Emergency Department (ED) services worldwide. This study aims to describe the changes in attendance of a single ED and corresponding patient visit characteristics before and during the COVID-19 period. Methods: : In a single-centre retrospective cohort study, we used descriptive statistics to compare ED attendance, patient demographics and visit characteristics during the COVID-19 period (1 January – 28 June 2020) and its corresponding historical period in 2019 (2 January – 30 June 2019). Results: : Mean ED attendance decreased from 342 visits/day in the pre-COVID-19 period, to 297 visits/day in the COVID-19 period. This was accompanied by a decline in presentations in nearly every ICD-10-CM diagnosis category except for respiratory-related diseases. Notably, we observed reductions in visits by critically ill patients and severe disease presentations during the COVID-19 period. We also noted a shift in ED patient case-mix from ‘Non-fever’ cases to ‘Fever’ cases, likely giving rise to two distinct trough-to-peak visit patterns during the pre-Circuit Breaker and Circuit Breaker period. Conclusions: : This descriptive study revealed distinct ED visit trends across different time periods. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a reduction in ED attendances amongst patients with low-acuity conditions and those with highest priority for emergency care. This raises concern about treatment-seeking delays and possible impact on health outcomes. The downward trend in low-acuity presentations also presents learning opportunities for ED crowd management planning in a post-COVID-19 era.

2.
COVID ; 1(4):739-750, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1554897

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has impacted the utilisation of Emergency Department (ED) services worldwide. This study aims to describe the changes in attendance at a single ED and corresponding patient visit characteristics before and during the COVID-19 period. Methods: In a single-centre retrospective cohort study, we used descriptive statistics to compare ED attendance, patient demographics and visit characteristics during the COVID-19 period (1 January–28 June 2020) and its corresponding historical period in 2019 (2 January–30 June 2019). Results: The mean ED attendance decreased from 342 visits/day in the pre-COVID-19 period to 297 visits/day in the COVID-19 period. This was accompanied by a decline in presentations in nearly every ICD-10-CM diagnosis category except for respiratory-related diseases. Notably, we observed reductions in visits by critically ill patients and severe disease presentations during the COVID-19 period. We also noted a shift in the ED patient case-mix from 'Non-fever’cases to 'Fever’cases, likely giving rise to two distinct trough-to-peak visit patterns during the pre-Circuit Breaker and Circuit Breaker period. Conclusions: This descriptive study revealed distinct ED visit trends across different time periods. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a reduction in ED attendances amongst patients with low-acuity conditions and those with highest priority for emergency care. This raises concern about treatment-seeking delays and the possible impact on health outcomes. The downward trend in low-acuity presentations also presents learning opportunities for ED crowd management planning in a post-COVID-19 era.

3.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258866, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480457

ABSTRACT

AIM: The long-term stress, anxiety and job burnout experienced by healthcare workers (HCWs) are important to consider as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic stresses healthcare systems globally. The primary objective was to examine the changes in the proportion of HCWs reporting stress, anxiety, and job burnout over six months during the peak of the pandemic in Singapore. The secondary objective was to examine the extent that objective job characteristics, HCW-perceived job factors, and HCW personal resources were associated with stress, anxiety, and job burnout. METHOD: A sample of HCWs (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative and operations staff; N = 2744) was recruited via invitation to participate in an online survey from four tertiary hospitals. Data were gathered between March-August 2020, which included a 2-month lockdown period. HCWs completed monthly web-based self-reported assessments of stress (Perceived Stress Scale-4), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7), and job burnout (Physician Work Life Scale). RESULTS: The majority of the sample consisted of female HCWs (81%) and nurses (60%). Using random-intercept logistic regression models, elevated perceived stress, anxiety and job burnout were reported by 33%, 13%, and 24% of the overall sample at baseline respectively. The proportion of HCWs reporting stress and job burnout increased by approximately 1·0% and 1·2% respectively per month. Anxiety did not significantly increase. Working long hours was associated with higher odds, while teamwork and feeling appreciated at work were associated with lower odds, of stress, anxiety, and job burnout. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived stress and job burnout showed a mild increase over six months, even after exiting the lockdown. Teamwork and feeling appreciated at work were protective and are targets for developing organizational interventions to mitigate expected poor outcomes among frontline HCWs.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Singapore/epidemiology
4.
Int J Emerg Med ; 13(1): 32, 2020 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-601079

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 disease outbreak that first surfaced in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, has taken the world by storm and ravaged almost every country in the world. Emergency departments (ED) in hospitals are on the frontlines, serving an essential function in identifying these patients, isolating them early whilst providing urgent medical care. This outbreak has reinforced the role of Emergency Medicine in public health. This paper documents the challenges faced and measures taken by a tertiary hospital's ED in Singapore, in response to the outbreak. MAIN BODY: The ED detected the first case of COVID-19 in Singapore on 22 January 2020 in a Chinese tourist and also the first case of locally transmitted COVID-19 on 3 February 2020. The patient journeys through the patient reception area in the ED and undergoes fever screening before being shunted to isolation areas within the ED. Management and disposition of suspect COVID-19 patients are guided by a close-knit collaboration between ED and department of infectious diseases. With increasing number of patients, back-up plans for expansion of space and staff augmentation have been enacted. Staff safety is also of utmost importance, with provision and guidelines for personal protective equipment and team segregation to ensure no cross-contamination across staff. These have been made possible with an early setup of an operational command and control structure within the ED, managing manpower, logistics, operations, communication and information management and liaison with other clinical departments. CONCLUSION: With the large numbers of undifferentiated patients managed by the ED to date, more than 820 patients with COVID-19 have been identified in the hospital. Not a single member of the staff of the SGH Emergency Department has come down with the illness. The various measures undertaken by the department have helped to ensure good staff morale and strict adherence to safety procedures. We share the lessons learnt so that others who manage EDs around the world can benefit from our experience.

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