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2.
Clin Pediatr (Phila) ; 61(2): 184-187, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551123

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to characterize the clinical presentation and outcomes of children and adolescents testing positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the ambulatory setting. We found that about 8% of children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, with the large majority being symptomatic (80%). The average age of our population was 12.5 years, and females and males were affected equally. However, African American patients (62%) were substantially more likely to test positive compared with other races. Children in this study tended to have a mild course, mostly presenting with respiratory symptoms, and very few required hospitalization. As the epidemiology of the pandemic evolves, it will be important to monitor the effects that changing variants have on infected children and the impact that vaccination programs have on mitigating infection risk.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Adolescent , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Maryland/epidemiology , Young Adult
3.
JAMA Intern Med ; 182(1): 42-49, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527389

ABSTRACT

Importance: Systemic corticosteroids are commonly used in treating severe COVID-19. However, the role of inhaled corticosteroids in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate disease is less clear. Objective: To determine the efficacy of the inhaled steroid ciclesonide in reducing the time to alleviation of all COVID-19-related symptoms among nonhospitalized participants with symptomatic COVID-19 infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This phase 3, multicenter, double-blind, randomized clinical trial was conducted at 10 centers throughout the US and assessed the safety and efficacy of a ciclesonide metered-dose inhaler (MDI) for treating nonhospitalized participants with symptomatic COVID-19 infection who were screened from June 11, 2020, to November 3, 2020. Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned to receive ciclesonide MDI, 160 µg per actuation, for a total of 2 actuations twice a day (total daily dose, 640 µg) or placebo for 30 days. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was time to alleviation of all COVID-19-related symptoms (cough, dyspnea, chills, feeling feverish, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell) by day 30. Secondary end points included subsequent emergency department visits or hospital admissions for reasons attributable to COVID-19. Results: A total of 413 participants were screened and 400 (96.9%) were enrolled and randomized (197 [49.3%] in the ciclesonide arm and 203 [50.7%] in the placebo arm; mean [SD] age, 43.3 [16.9] years; 221 [55.3%] female; 2 [0.5%] Asian, 47 [11.8%] Black or African American, 3 [0.8%] Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 345 [86.3%] White, and 1 multiracial individuals [0.3%]; 172 Hispanic or Latino individuals [43.0%]). The median time to alleviation of all COVID-19-related symptoms was 19.0 days (95% CI, 14.0-21.0) in the ciclesonide arm and 19.0 days (95% CI, 16.0-23.0) in the placebo arm. There was no difference in resolution of all symptoms by day 30 (odds ratio, 1.28; 95% CI, 0.84-1.97). Participants who were treated with ciclesonide had fewer subsequent emergency department visits or hospital admissions for reasons related to COVID-19 (odds ratio, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.04-0.85). No participants died during the study. Conclusions and Relevance: The results of this randomized clinical trial demonstrated that ciclesonide did not achieve the primary efficacy end point of reduced time to alleviation of all COVID-19-related symptoms. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04377711.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Pregnenediones/standards , Administration, Inhalation , Adolescent , Adult , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Ambulatory Care Facilities/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Double-Blind Method , Female , Glucocorticoids/standards , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Male , Metered Dose Inhalers , Middle Aged , Outpatients/statistics & numerical data , Pregnenediones/therapeutic use
4.
Front Health Serv Manage ; 38(1): 4-13, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455389

ABSTRACT

SUMMARY: Across the healthcare landscape, the COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly challenging. It also has been a catalyst for change. It has ignited a redesign of the US health system and presented opportunities in areas such as caregiver and patient communication, digital practice, telehealth and virtual care, and more. Notably, the pandemic also has shined a new light on caregiver well-being. As executive leaders of Cleveland Clinic's Caregiver Office, our top priority throughout the pandemic has been to support our caregivers professionally and personally-to help them be their best for themselves and for their fellow caregivers, our patients, our organization, and our communities. Today, Cleveland Clinic is realizing the profound impact of many of the strategies put in place during the pandemic and seeing how COVID-19 accelerated our organization's unified vision for caregiver well-being. This article offers insight into Cleveland Clinic's commitment to caregiver well-being, highlights actions we undertook during the pandemic, shares the resulting lessons we learned, and showcases how those lessons are shaping our future caregiver well-being strategy.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Caregivers/standards , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Personnel/standards , Holistic Health , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Ohio , Organizational Culture , Organizational Objectives , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
J Ambul Care Manage ; 44(4): 293-303, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447660

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 necessitated significant care redesign, including new ambulatory workflows to handle surge volumes, protect patients and staff, and ensure timely reliable care. Opportunities also exist to harvest lessons from workflow innovations to benefit routine care. We describe a dedicated COVID-19 ambulatory unit for closing testing and follow-up loops characterized by standardized workflows and electronic communication, documentation, and order placement. More than 85% of follow-ups were completed within 24 hours, with no observed staff, nor patient infections associated with unit operations. Identified issues include role confusion, staffing and gatekeeping bottlenecks, and patient reluctance to visit in person or discuss concerns with phone screeners.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19/therapy , Continuity of Patient Care/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiratory Care Units/organization & administration , Adult , Aged , Boston/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Systems Analysis , Workflow
6.
Clin Pediatr (Phila) ; 61(1): 26-33, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405264

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic brought rapid expansion of pediatric telehealth to maintain patient access to care while decreasing COVID-19 community spread. We designed a retrospective, serial, cross-sectional study to investigate if telehealth implementation at an academic pediatric practice led to disparities in health care access. Significant differences were found in pre-COVID-19 versus during COVID-19 patient demographics. Patients seen during COVID-19 were more likely to be younger, White/Caucasian or Asian, English speaking, and have private insurance. They were less likely to be Black/African American or Latinx and request interpreters. Age was the only significant difference in patient demographics between in-person and telehealth visits during COVID-19. A multivariate regression showed older age as a significant positive predictor of having a video visit and public insurance as a significant negative predictor. Our study demonstrates telehealth disparities based on insurance existed at our clinic as did inequities in who was seen before versus during COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/standards , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , California , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/standards , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data
9.
S Afr Med J ; 111(8): 720-723, 2021 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355170

ABSTRACT

Herbal medicines made from the bark of the Cinchona tree, and later quinine, have been widely used for centuries to treat medical conditions such as tropical malaria. More recently, chloroquine (CQ) and its synthetic derivatives have been used as antimalarials and to treat systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and in the past 14 months or so, COVID-19 pneumonia. Anecdotal evidence and the erratic covering through social media of its potential efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia have resulted in the widespread off-label use of CQ in South Africa and worldwide. This study aimed to show that access to CQ as a chronic medication for rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases was limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that this resulted in an increased incidence of flares in these patients, affecting their morbidity and potentially leading to mortality.


Subject(s)
Chloroquine/pharmacology , Rheumatology/standards , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Antirheumatic Agents/pharmacology , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Humans , Musculoskeletal Diseases/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Rheumatology/methods , Rheumatology/statistics & numerical data
10.
Sex Reprod Health Matters ; 29(1): 1921901, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226511

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding measures impacted the organisation of services for abortion on request in Flanders, Belgium. This study describes abortion centre staff's perceptions of the influence of protective measures on abortion consultations and procedures, and aims to identify obstacles and opportunities that arose from this situation. Through the anonymised patient records of one Flemish abortion centre, we compared the number of requests and abortions during the first lockdown (16 March-14 June 2020) with the same period in the five preceding years. Using a phenomenological approach, we documented the procedures and conducted interviews (all inductively coded in Nvivo) with the centre's coordinator, seven psychosocial staff members and three doctors. Though fewer people requested and had an abortion, the pressure on the staff was high due to changed procedures. A substantial change was the substitution of telephone for in-person consultations, which the staff perceived as less suited for discussing worries, contraception counselling, and building trust. The centre remained accessible, but the staff perceived an influence on the emotional reactions of clients. Staff agreed that the lockdown did not negatively influence the abortion procedure itself. However, they felt a negative influence on the level of psychological support they could offer, especially in interactions with clients who were less certain of their choice and clients with whom there was no common language. When the lockdown was relaxed, a triage system was set up to ensure emotionally safe abortion care - as perceived by staff - for all clients.


Subject(s)
Abortion Applicants/statistics & numerical data , Abortion, Induced/statistics & numerical data , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Personnel/psychology , Abortion Applicants/psychology , Belgium/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Pregnancy , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Contraception ; 104(1): 82-91, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222886

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To overcome obstacles to delivering medication abortion services during the COVID-19 pandemic, clinics and providers implemented new medication abortion service models not requiring in-person care. This study identifies organizational factors that promoted successful implementation of telehealth and adoption of "no test" medication abortion protocols. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted 21 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with health care providers and clinic administrators implementing clinician-supported telehealth abortion during the COVID pandemic. We selected 15 clinical sites to represent 4 different practice settings: independent primary care practices, online medical services, specialty family planning clinics, and primary care clinics within multispecialty health systems. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research guided our thematic analysis. RESULTS: Successful implementation of telehealth abortion included access to formal and informal inter-organizational networks, including professional organizations and informal mentorship relationships with innovators in the field; organizational readiness for implementation, such as having clinic resources available for telehealth services like functional electronic health records and options for easy-to-use virtual patient-provider interactions; and motivated and effective clinic champions. CONCLUSIONS: In response to the need to offer remote clinical services, 4 different practice settings types leveraged key operational factors to facilitate successful implementation of telehealth abortion. Information from this study can inform implementation strategies to support the dissemination and adoption of this model. IMPLICATIONS: Examples of successfully implemented telehealth medication abortion services provide a framework that can be used to inform and implement similar patient-centered telehealth models in diverse practice settings.


Subject(s)
Abortifacient Agents/therapeutic use , Abortion, Induced/methods , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Health Personnel , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Electronic Health Records , Humans , Implementation Science , Organizational Innovation , Patient Participation , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , United States
13.
S Afr Med J ; 111(2): 159-165, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168063

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hypertension (HPT) and its complications continue to pose a global threat and contribute to premature mortality worldwide. The adverse interactions between HPT, obesity and COVID-19 are currently being witnessed globally and represent a collision of pandemics. Understanding the burden that this non-communicable disease (NCD) poses in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province, South Africa (SA), would help in developing improved public healthcare strategies. OBJECTIVES: To describe the burden of HPT in all the districts of KZN over a 6-year period. METHODS: HPT data are routinely collected from all KZN public health facilities (both clinics and hospitals) as part of the District Health Information System (DHIS). In this retrospective study, we accessed HPT records from the DHIS over a period of 6 years (2014 - 2019, inclusive). Data collected included the number of patients screened, diagnosed and initiated on therapy for HPT, together with the number of obese patients. RESULTS: The slopes for HPT screening were positive at both clinics and hospitals in KZN (considerably more at clinics than hospitals, with a difference in elevations of slopes of p<0.001), with a significantly greater percentage of the population having been screened at rural clinics than at hospitals (difference in elevation of slopes p<0.001). A significantly greater number of patients aged <40 years (p<0.001) were being screened for HPT at clinics than at hospitals (2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20), while hospitals screened considerably more patients aged ≥40 years in 2017 - 2018 (p<0.001). The numbers of new hypertensives diagnosed and having treatment initiated were on an upward slope at both clinics and hospitals, with clinics having a greater elevation of slope than hospitals (p<0.001), irrespective of patient age. A significantly greater number of patients aged ≥40 years (p<0.05) were diagnosed with HPT at both clinics and hospitals in KZN (2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20). KZN clinics remained the first port of call for known hypertensives throughout the study period. Obesity was prevalent at both clinic and hospital level, although figures were significantly higher at clinics. Over 80% of the obesity burden was carried by the rural clinics and hospitals. CONCLUSIONS: Screening, diagnosis, treatment initiation and chronic management of HPT occur mainly at rural clinic level. The SA government needs to heed these findings and redirect resources (staffing and equipment) to this level. The prevalence of obesity was highest at rural healthcare facilities (clinics more than hospitals). More needs to be done to combat the obesity pandemic if we are to win the battle against NCDs (HPT and diabetes mellitus). A significant number of patients aged <40 years are being screened for HPT, which bodes well for the province, as early diagnosis and treatment of HPT are vital to prevent complications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cost of Illness , Hypertension/diagnosis , Hypertension/epidemiology , Adult , Age Distribution , Age Factors , Aged , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Comorbidity , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/diagnosis , Obesity/epidemiology , Quality of Life , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , South Africa
14.
J Genet Couns ; 30(4): 938-948, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1139267

ABSTRACT

The unique situational challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have demanded creative modifications to the delivery of genetic services. Institutions across the country have adapted workflows to continue to provide quality care while minimizing the need for physical visits. As the first epicenter of the pandemic in the country, New York City healthcare workers and residents had to make rapid, unprecedented changes to their way of life. This article describes the workflow adaptations of genetic counselors across various clinical settings at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, the largest provider of genetics care in New York City, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors observe how the adaptations impacted clinical care and the genetic counselors. Our lived experience and account can provide guidance for others during the current and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Genetic Counseling/organization & administration , Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics
15.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 12: 21501327211000235, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138512

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To characterize the experience of converting a geriatrics clinic to telehealth visits in early stages of a pandemic. DESIGN: An organizational case study with mixed methods evaluation from the first 8 weeks of converting a geriatrics clinic from in-person visits to video and telephone visits. SETTING: Veteran's Health Administration in Northern California Participants Community-dwelling older Veterans receiving care at VA Palo Alto Geriatrics clinic. Veterans had a mean age of 85.7 (SD = 6.8) and 72.1% had cognitive impairment. INTERVENTION: Veterans with face-to-face appointments were converted to video or telephone visits to mitigate exposure to community spread of COVID-19. MEASUREMENTS: Thirty-two patient evaluations and 80 clinician feedback evaluations were completed. This provided information on satisfaction, care access during pandemic, and travel and time savings. RESULTS: Of the 62 scheduled appointments, 43 virtual visits (69.4%) were conducted. Twenty-six (60.5%) visits were conducted via video, 17 (39.5%) by telephone. Virtual visits saved patients an average of 118.6 minutes each. Patients and providers had similar, positive perceptions about telehealth to in-person visit comparison, limiting exposure, and visit satisfaction. After the telehealth appointment, patients indicated greater comfort with using virtual visits in the future. Thirty-one evaluations included comments for qualitative analysis. We identified 3 main themes of technology set-up and usability, satisfaction with visit, and clinical assessment and communication. CONCLUSION: During a pandemic that has limited the ability to safely conduct inperson services, virtual formats offer a feasible and acceptable alternative for clinically-complex older patients. Despite potential barriers and additional effort required for telehealth visits, patients expressed willingness to utilize this format. Patients and providers reported high satisfaction, particularly with the ability to access care similar to in-person while staying safe. Investing in telehealth services during a pandemic ensures that vulnerable older patients can access care while maintaining social distancing, an important safety measure.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19/prevention & control , Geriatrics/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Veterans Health Services/organization & administration , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , California/epidemiology , Dementia/therapy , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Middle Aged , Organizational Case Studies , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Qualitative Research , Telephone , Videoconferencing
16.
JBRA Assist Reprod ; 25(2): 293-302, 2021 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1134427

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has caused radical effects on the daily lives of millions of people. The causal agent of the current pandemic is SARS-CoV-2, a virus that causes symptoms related to the respiratory system, leading to severe complications. In the in vitro fertilization (IVF) universe, there are several protocols for infection control and laboratory safety. Some professional associations have issued guidelines recommending measures involving patient flow and IVF practices. This study presents a review and considerations for the resumption of activities in IVF laboratories and clinics in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the guidelines and statements from professional organizations and societies in reproductive medicine.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Fertilization in Vitro , Infection Control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Fertilization in Vitro/legislation & jurisprudence , Fertilization in Vitro/methods , Fertilization in Vitro/standards , Humans , Infant , Infection Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Laboratories/legislation & jurisprudence , Laboratories/standards , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
17.
Pediatrics ; 148(1)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105894

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus pandemic created significant, abrupt challenges to the delivery of ambulatory health care. Because tertiary medical centers limited elective in-person services, telehealth was rapidly enacted in settings with minimal previous experience to allow continued access to care. With this quality improvement (QI) initiative, we aimed to achieve a virtual visit volume of at least 75% of our prepandemic volume. We also describe patient and provider experience with telehealth services. METHODS: Our QI team identified the primary drivers contributing to low telehealth volume and developed a telehealth scheduling protocol and data tracking system using QI-based strategies. Patients and providers were surveyed on their telehealth experience. RESULTS: At the onset of the pandemic, weekly visit volume dropped by 65% (99 weekly visits; historical average of 281). Over the subsequent 3 weeks, using rapid Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles, we achieved our goal volume. In surveys, it was indicated that most participants had never before used telehealth (71% of patients; 82% of providers) yet reported high satisfaction (90% of patients; 81% of providers). Both groups expressed concern over the lack of in-person assessments. Most respondents were interested in future use of telehealth. CONCLUSIONS: With a QI-based approach, we successfully maintained access to care via telehealth services for pediatric pulmonary patients during the coronavirus pandemic and found high rates of satisfaction among patients and providers. Telehealth will likely continue to be a part of our health care delivery platform, expanding the reach of our services. Further work is needed to understand the effects on clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care/standards , COVID-19 , Child Health Services/organization & administration , Lung Diseases , Quality Improvement , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Child , Child Health Services/standards , Hospitals, Pediatric , Humans , Lung Diseases/diagnosis , Lung Diseases/therapy , Telemedicine/standards , Time Factors
18.
J Prev Med Hyg ; 61(4): E497-E500, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1102692

ABSTRACT

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted most of the routine outpatient activities in Italian hospitals and Prevention Departments, including those vaccinations which were not urgent and/or scheduled for children aged 0-6 years. Since June 2020, when the pandemic entered a milder phase, in the alpine Province of Belluno (Veneto, North-Eastern Italy), 12,152 doses of vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis have been administered by means of the innovative "drive-through" modality. No significant adverse events have occurred and popular demand has steadily grown, proving the "drive-through" approach to be safe, efficient and successful.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Encephalitis, Tick-Borne/prevention & control , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Child , Child Welfare/statistics & numerical data , Encephalitis, Tick-Borne/immunology , Humans , Italy
19.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 12: 2150132721996278, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1094016

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Many of the potential barriers to providing telehealth services already disproportionately impact vulnerable populations. The purpose of this study was to assess the incorporation of synchronous ophthalmology telemedicine visits in a tertiary university-based ophthalmology clinic for low-income and uninsured patients in the COVID-19 era. METHODS: The records of 18 patients who were due for an in-person visit in the medically underserved patient clinic at our institute were reviewed. Patients considered high risk of ocular morbidity progression were approved to proceed with an in-person visit. Patients with non-urgent visit indications were attempted to be contacted by telephone to be offered a telemedicine telephone visit as an alternative to a postponed in-person office visit. RESULTS: Clinical triage by an attending ophthalmologist determined that 17 patients (94.4%, n = 18) had visit indications appropriate for evaluation by telemedicine. Six patients (35.3%, n = 17) were successfully contacted and offered a telemedicine visit as an alternative to a postponed in-person office visit. All 6 patients accepted, scheduled, and completed a telemedicine visit. Eleven patients (64.7%, n = 17) were not able to be successfully contacted to offer and schedule either a telemedicine visit or a postponed in-person office visit. Patients who were not able to be successfully contacted were on average younger in age and more likely to be female, Hispanic/Latino, from Latin America, with a preferred language of Spanish. CONCLUSIONS: Synchronous ophthalmology telemedicine visits can be successfully incorporated in a tertiary university-based setting for low-income and uninsured patients. The primary barrier to providing telemedicine visits in this population was the ability to successfully contact patients to offer and schedule these visits.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Medically Underserved Area , Ophthalmology , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Ohio/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers
20.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 78(12): 1112-1117, 2021 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093474

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) therapy is used in patients with hypogammaglobulinemia to lower the risk of infections. IVIG and subcutaneous IVIG (SCIG) therapy have been to shown to be safe and effective when administered as clinic-based infusions. Concern from both patients and providers for increased transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus to immunosuppressed patients with scheduled medical visits and procedures made it necessary for us to reassess our process of how we manage patient care in general and chronic clinic infusions in particular. Here we describe our experience of transitioning patients from clinic-based to home based IVIG and/or SCIG infusions to decrease the risk of COVID-19 exposure. METHODS: Criteria were developed to identify high-risk immunosuppressed patients who would be appropriate candidates for potential conversion to home based IVIG infusions. Data were collected via chart review, and cost analysis was performed using Medicare Part B reimbursement data. A patient outcome questionnaire was developed for administration through follow-up phone calls. RESULTS: From March to May 2020, 45 patients met criteria for home-based infusion, with 27 patients (60%) agreeing to home-based infusion. Posttransition patient outcomes assessment, conducted in 26 patients (96%), demonstrated good patient understanding of the home-based infusion process. No infusion-related complications were reported, and 24 patients (92%) had no concerns about receiving future IVIG and/or SCIG doses at home. No patient tested positive for COVID-19 during the study period. Clinic infusion visits decreased by 26.6 visits per month, resulting in a total of 106 hours of additional available infusion chair time per month and associated cost savings of $12,877. CONCLUSION: Transition of clinic based to home based IVIG/SCIG infusion can be successfully done to decrease potential exposure during a pandemic in a high-risk immunosuppressed population, with no impact on patient satisfaction, adherence, or efficacy. The home-based infusion initiative was associated with a reduction in costs to patients and an increase in available chair time in the infusion clinic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Home Care Services/organization & administration , Immunocompromised Host , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/administration & dosage , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/adverse effects , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/economics , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Care Team , Patient Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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