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1.
Am J Manag Care ; 27(6): 225-226, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281052

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the workflow of clinics. We applied Lean Six Sigma processes to optimize clinic workflow to reduce patient wait times and improve the patient experience. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. METHODS: We implemented (1) pushing most extended wait times to the end of the workflow by rooming the patient directly and (2) using distractions during the waiting process by using educational videos and a timer for physician arrival in the patient exam room. We compared the patient wait times and subcomponents of Press Ganey scores as a surrogate for changes in patient experience and satisfaction from the preimplementation period (n = 277) to the 3-month (September 1, 2020, to November 30, 2020) postimplementation period (n = 218). RESULTS: There was a significant reduction in overall throughput time (38 vs 35 minutes) and wait before rooming (11 vs 8 minutes), and increased physician time with patients (15 vs 17 minutes) (P < .0001 for all). These results corresponded with a significant improvement in Press Ganey subcomponents of (1) waiting time in the exam room before being seen by the care provider, (2) degree to which you were informed about any delays, (3) wait time at clinic (from arriving to leaving), and (4) length of wait before going to an exam room (P < .001 for all). CONCLUSIONS: Simple, inexpensive measures can improve patient engagement and provide a safe setting for patients for clinic visits in the wake of COVID-19. In the future, clinics' common wait areas could be reappropriated to increase the number of clinic exam rooms.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Efficiency, Organizational , Total Quality Management , Workflow , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , Pilot Projects , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Waiting Lists
2.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(6): e27259, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266624

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Canada has been slow to implement virtual care relative to other countries. However, in recent years, the availability of on-demand, "walk-in" virtual clinics has increased, with the COVID-19 pandemic contributing to the increased demand and provision of virtual care nationwide. Although virtual care facilitates access to physicians while maintaining physical distancing, there are concerns regarding the continuity and quality of care as well as equitable access. There is a paucity of research documenting the availability of virtual care in Canada, thus hampering the efforts to evaluate the impacts of its relatively rapid emergence on the broader health care system and on individual health. OBJECTIVE: We conducted a national environmental scan to determine the availability and scope of virtual walk-in clinics, cataloging the services they offer and whether they are operating through public or private payment. METHODS: We developed a power term and implemented a structured Google search to identify relevant clinics. From each clinic meeting our inclusion criteria, we abstracted data on the payment model, region of operation, services offered, and continuity of care. We compared clinics operating under different payment models using Fisher exact tests. RESULTS: We identified 18 virtual walk-in clinics. Of the 18 clinics, 10 (56%) provided some services under provincial public insurance, although 44% (8/18) operated on a fully private payment model while an additional 39% (7/18) charged patients out of pocket for some services. The most common supplemental services offered included dermatology (15/18, 83%), mental health services (14/18, 78%), and sexual health (11/18, 61%). Continuity, information sharing, or communication with the consumers' existing primary care providers were mentioned by 22% (4/18) of the clinics. CONCLUSIONS: Virtual walk-in clinics have proliferated; however, concerns about equitable access, continuity of care, and diversion of physician workforce within these models highlight the importance of supporting virtual care options within the context of longitudinal primary care. More research is needed to support quality virtual care and understand its effects on patient and provider experiences and the overall health system utilization and costs.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
BMC Nephrol ; 22(1): 81, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119416

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emory Dialysis serves an urban and predominantly African American population at its four outpatient dialysis facilities. We describe COVID-19 infection control measures implemented and clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 in the Emory Dialysis facilities. METHODS: Implementation of COVID-19 infection procedures commenced in February 2020. Subsequently, COVID-19 preparedness assessments were conducted at each facility. Patients with COVID-19 from March 1-May 31, 2020 were included; with a follow-up period spanning March-June 30, 2020. Percentages of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were calculated, and characteristics of COVID-19 patients were summarized as medians or percentage. Baseline characteristics of all patients receiving care at Emory Dialysis (i.e. Emory general dialysis population) were presented as medians and percentages. RESULTS: Of 751 dialysis patients, 23 (3.1%) were diagnosed with COVID-19. The median age was 67.0 years and 13 patients (56.6%) were female. Eleven patients (47.8%) were residents of nursing homes. Nineteen patients (82.6%) required hospitalization and 6 patients (26.1%) died; the average number of days from a positive SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) test to death was 16.8 days (range 1-34). Two patients dialyzing at adjacent dialysis stations and a dialysis staff who cared for them, were diagnosed with COVID-19 in a time frame that may suggest transmission in the dialysis facility. In response, universal masking in the facility was implemented (prior to national guidelines recommending universal masking), infection control audits and re-trainings of PPE were also done to bolster infection control practices. CONCLUSION: We successfully implemented recommended COVID-19 infection control measures aimed at mitigating the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Most of the patients with COVID-19 required hospitalizations. Dialysis facilities should remain vigilant and monitor for possible transmission of COVID-19 in the facility.


Subject(s)
African Americans , Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Renal Dialysis/standards , Vulnerable Populations/ethnology , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Georgia , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine , Urban Population
4.
Clin Breast Cancer ; 21(1): e136-e140, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064943

ABSTRACT

As the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic begins to stabilize, different medical imaging facilities not directly involved in the COVID-19 epidemic face the dilemma of how to return to regular operation. We hereby discuss various fields of concern in resuming breast imaging services. We examine the concerns for resuming functions of breast imaging services in 2 broad categories, including safety aspects of operating a breast clinic and addressing potential modifications needed in managing common clinical scenarios in the COVID-19 aftermath. Using a stepwise approach in harmony with the relative states of the epidemic, health care system capacity, and the current state of performing breast surgeries (and in compliance with the recommended surgical guidelines) can ensure avoiding pointless procedures and ensure a smooth transition to a fully operational breast imaging facility.


Subject(s)
Breast/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , Breast/pathology , Breast Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging , Breast Neoplasms/pathology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Female , Humans , Image-Guided Biopsy , Mammography , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety
7.
J Cosmet Dermatol ; 19(12): 3160-3165, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894776

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) disease has rapidly spread worldwide with a multitude effects on daily life. Since the transmission risk increases with close contact, some cosmetic procedures are considered high risk and majority of them had to be postponed or canceled in private dermatocosmetology clinics especially during the heavy period of the outbreak. AIMS: We aimed to document the medical and socioeconomic problems emerged in dermatocosmetology clinics in Turkey caused by COVID-19 pandemic and to discuss the management strategies taken by dermatologists. PATIENTS/METHODS: This survey research was conducted with 100 dermatologists who work in private dermatocosmetology clinics. The survey included 38 questions about office re-arrangements including patient admission and office environment, safety precautions taken for cosmetic procedures, management of clinic staff, and financial impact of the pandemic. RESULTS: A remarkable decrease in major cosmetic interest was reported in private clinics; meanwhile, there was an increase in applicants for noncosmetic dermatological complaints. The most avoided cosmetic procedures were application of skin care devices, lasers, chemical peeling, and thread lifting, while botulinum toxin injection was the most performed procedure. Nearly half of the participants had severe financial damage. Of the participants, 55% reported that they worked anxiously during this period and 60% believed that they managed the early period of the pandemic successfully. CONCLUSION: Private dermatocosmetology clinics have to work in a totally different period that they have never experienced before. The pandemic has had serious impacts on both medical and socioeconomic issues which had to be managed carefully.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cosmetic Techniques/economics , Dermatologic Surgical Procedures/economics , Infection Control/methods , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Care Facilities/economics , Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , Cosmetic Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dermatologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Facilities and Services Utilization , Female , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Office Management , Pandemics/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Turkey/epidemiology
9.
J Crohns Colitis ; 14(14 Suppl 3): S785-S790, 2020 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-787155

ABSTRACT

Infusion centres are a central part in the management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] and could be a source of transmission of SARS-COV-2. Here we aimed to develop global guidance for best practices of infusion centres for IBD patients and to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these centres. Under the auspices of the International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease [IOIBD], a task force [TF] was formed, an online survey was developed to query infusion centre protocols during COVID-19, and recommendations were made, based on TF experience and opinion. Recommendations focus mainly on patients screening, infusion centres re-organization, personnel protection, and protocol modifications such as shortening infusion duration or replacing it with subcutaneous alternatives. Implementing these recommendations will hopefully reduce exposure of both IBD patients and care givers to SARS-COV-2 and improve the function and safety of infusion centres during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as potential future threats.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , Ambulatory Care/standards , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Infection Control/standards , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/drug therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adult , Advisory Committees , Ambulatory Care/methods , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Clinical Protocols , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Drug Administration Schedule , Gastrointestinal Agents/administration & dosage , Gastrointestinal Agents/therapeutic use , Global Health , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/complications , Infusions, Intravenous , Maintenance Chemotherapy/methods , Maintenance Chemotherapy/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Pulmonology ; 27(5): 438-447, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693888

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading worldwide, countries are dealing with different phases of the pandemic. Lately, scientific evidence has been growing about the measures for reopening respiratory outpatient services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We aim to summarize the key differences and similarities among recommendations by different national and international organizations. METHODS: We searched on Google and Pubmed for recently published National and International Recommendations/Guidelines/Position Papers from professional organizations and societies, offering a guidance to physicians on how to safely perform pulmonary function testing during COVID-19 pandemic. We also searched for spirometry manufacturers' operational indications. RESULTS: Indications on spirometry were released by the Chinese Task force, the American Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Société de Pneumologie de Langue Française, the Spanish Societies (Sociedad Espanola de Neumologia y Cirugia Toracica, Sociedad Espanola de Alergologia e Inmunologia Clinica, Asociacion de Especialistas en Enfermeria del trabajo, Asociacion de Enfermeria Comunitaria), the Sociedade Portuguesa de Pneumologia, the British Thoracic Society/Association for Respiratory Technology & Physiology, the Irish Thoracic Society, the Sociedad Uruguaya de Neumologia, the Italian Thoracic Society and the Italian Respiratory Society, Cleveland Clinic and Nebraska Medical Center. Detailed technical recommendations were found on manufacturers' websites. We found several similarities across available guidelines for safely resuming pulmonary function services, as well as differences in criteria for selecting eligible patients for which spirometry is deemed essential and advice which was not homogenous on room ventilation precautions. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows a synthesis of national/international guidelines allowing practicing physicians to adapt and shape the way to organize their outpatient services locally. There is generally good agreement on the importance of limiting pulmonary function testing to selected cases only. However, significant differences concerning the subsets of candidate patients, as well as on the management of adequate room ventilation, were observed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Manufacturing Industry/organization & administration , Respiratory Function Tests/methods , Spirometry/methods , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Decision-Making/ethics , Consensus , Disease Outbreaks , Equipment Design/standards , Equipment and Supplies Utilization/standards , Guidelines as Topic/standards , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient/prevention & control , Manufacturing Industry/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Physicians , Respiratory Function Tests/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Safety , Spirometry/standards
14.
Sociol Health Illn ; 42(5): 972-986, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-260637

ABSTRACT

With significant relevance to the Covid-19 pandemic, this paper contributes to emerging 'aerographic' research on the socio-materialities of air and breath, based on an in-depth empirical study of three hospital-based lung infection clinics treating people with cystic fibrosis. We begin by outlining the changing place of atmosphere in hospital design from the pre-antibiotic period and into the present. We then turn to the first of three aerographic themes where air becomes a matter of grasping and visualising otherwise invisible airborne infections. This includes imagining patients located within bodily spheres or 'cloud bodies', conceptually anchored in Irigaray's thoughts on the 'forgetting of the air' and Sloterdijk's immunitary 'spherology' of the body. Our second theme explores the material politics of air, air conditioning, window design and the way competing 'air regimes' come into conflict with each other at the interface of buildings, bodies and the biotic. Our final theme attends to the 'cost of air', the aero-economic problem of atmospheric scarcity within modern high-rise, deep-density healthcare architectures.


Subject(s)
Air , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Respiration , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Air Microbiology , Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Facility Design and Construction , Health Behavior , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy
15.
Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc ; 28(6): 1699-1704, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-125148

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The aim of this manuscript is to review the available strategies in the international literature to efficiently and safely return to both normal orthopaedic surgical activities and to normal outpatient clinical activities in the aftermath of a large epidemic or pandemic. This information would be beneficial to adequately reorganize outpatient clinics and hospitals to provide the highest possible level of orthopaedic care to our patients in a safe and efficient manner. METHODS: A literature search was performed for relevant research articles. In addition, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the EU CDC and other government health agency websites were searched for any relevant information. In particular, interest was paid to strategies and advise on managing the orthopaedic patient flow during outpatient clinics as well as surgical procedures including the necessary safety measures, while still providing a high-quality patient experience. The obtained information is provided as a narrative review. RESULTS: There was not any specific literature concerning the organization of an outpatient clinic and surgical activities and the particular challenges in dealing with a high-volume practice, in the afterwave of a pandemic. CONCLUSION: As the COVID-19 crisis has abruptly halted most of the orthopaedic activities both in the outpatient clinic and the operating room, a progressive start-up scenario needs to be planned. The exact timing largely depends on factors outside of our control. After restrictions will be lifted, clinical and surgical volume will progressively increase. This paper offers key points and possible strategies to provide the highest level of safety to both the orthopaedic patient and the orthopaedic team including administrative staff and nurses, during the start-up phase. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Review, Level V.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Orthopedic Procedures/standards , Orthopedics/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Efficiency, Organizational , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Orthopedics/organization & administration , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety
17.
Int J Gynaecol Obstet ; 149(3): 377-378, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-47393

ABSTRACT

From February 24, 2020, a COVID-19 obstetric task force was structured to deliver management recommendations for obstetric care. From March 1, 2020, six COVID-19 hubs and their spokes were designated. An interim analysis of cases occurring in or transferred to these hubs was performed on March 20, 2020 and recommendations were released on March 24, 2020. The vision of this strict organization was to centralize patients in high-risk maternity centers in order to concentrate human resources and personal protective equipment (PPE), dedicate protected areas of these major hospitals, and centralize clinical multidisciplinary experience with this disease. All maternity hospitals were informed to provide a protected labor and delivery room for nontransferable patients in advanced labor. A pre-triage based on temperature and 14 other items was developed in order to screen suspected patients in all hospitals to be tested with nasopharyngeal swabs. Obstetric outpatient facilities were instructed to maintain scheduled pregnancy screening as per Italian guidelines, and to provide pre-triage screening and surgical masks for personnel and patients for pre-triage-negative patients. Forty-two cases were recorded in the first 20 days of hub and spoke organization. The clinical presentation was interstitial pneumonia in 20 women. Of these, seven required respiratory support and eventually recovered. Two premature labors occurred.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , Coronavirus Infections , Health Care Rationing , Hospitals, Maternity/standards , Obstetrics/standards , Pandemics , Patient Care/standards , Pneumonia, Viral , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Female , Health Care Rationing/organization & administration , Health Care Rationing/standards , Hospitals, Maternity/organization & administration , Hospitals, Special/organization & administration , Hospitals, Special/standards , Humans , Italy , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Pregnancy
18.
J Nephrol ; 33(2): 193-196, 2020 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-11986

ABSTRACT

Confronting the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has allowed us to appreciate how efficiently highly-resourced settings can respond to crises. However even such settings are not prepared to deal with the situation, and lessons are only slowly being learnt. There is still an urgent need to accelerate protocols that lead to the implementation of rapid point-of-care diagnostic testing and effective antiviral therapies. In some high-risk populations, such as dialysis patients, where several individuals are treated at the same time in a limited space and overcrowded areas, our objective must be to ensure protection to patients, the healthcare team and the dialysis ward. The difficult Italian experience may help other countries to face the challenges. The experience of the Lombardy underlines the need for gathering and sharing our data to increase our knowledge and support common, initially experience-based, and as soon as possible evidence-based position to face this overwhelming crisis.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/standards , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Renal Dialysis , Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
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