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1.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0265812, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759963

ABSTRACT

AIM: To explore whether the acute 30-day burden of COVID-19 on health care use has changed from February 2020 to February 2022. METHODS: In all Norwegians (N = 493 520) who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in four pandemic waves (February 26th, 2020 -February 16th, 2021 (1st wave dominated by the Wuhan strain), February 17th-July 10th, 2021 (2nd wave dominated by the Alpha variant), July 11th-December 27th, 2021 (3rd wave dominated by the Delta variant), and December 28th, 2021 -January 14th, 2022 (4th wave dominated by the Omicron variant)), we studied the age- and sex-specific share of patients (by age groups 1-19, 20-67, and 68 or more) who had: 1) Relied on self-care, 2) used outpatient care (visiting general practitioners or emergency ward for COVID-19), and 3) used inpatient care (hospitalized ≥24 hours with COVID-19). RESULTS: We find a remarkable decline in the use of health care services among COVID-19 patients for all age/sex groups throughout the pandemic. From 83% [95%CI = 83%-84%] visiting outpatient care in the first wave, to 80% [81%-81%], 69% [69%-69%], and 59% [59%-59%] in the second, third, and fourth wave. Similarly, from 4.9% [95%CI = 4.7%-5.0%] visiting inpatient care in the first wave, to 3.6% [3.4%-3.7%], 1.4% [1.3%-1.4%], and 0.5% [0.4%-0.5%]. Of persons testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, 41% [41%-41%] relied on self-care in the 30 days after testing positive in the fourth wave, compared to 16% [15%-16%] in the first wave. CONCLUSION: From 2020 to 2022, the use of COVID-19 related outpatient care services decreased with 29%, whereas the use of COVID-19 related inpatient care services decreased with 80%.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Self Care/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cost of Illness , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Norway/epidemiology , Sex Factors , Young Adult
2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(3): e222933, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748800

ABSTRACT

Importance: The association of the COVID-19 pandemic with the quality of ambulatory care is unknown. Hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSCs) are a well-studied measure of the quality of ambulatory care; however, they may also be associated with other patient-level and system-level factors. Objective: To describe trends in hospital admissions for ACSCs in the prepandemic period (March 2019 to February 2020) compared with the pandemic period (March 2020 to February 2021). Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study of adults enrolled in a commercial health maintenance organization in Michigan included 1 240 409 unique adults (13 011 176 person-months) in the prepandemic period and 1 206 361 unique adults (12 759 675 person-months) in the pandemic period. Exposure: COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 to February 2021). Main Outcomes and Measures: Adjusted relative risk (aRR) of ACSC hospitalizations and intensive care unit stays for ACSC hospitalizations and adjusted incidence rate ratio of the length of stay of ACSC hospitalizations in the prepandemic (March 2019 to February 2020) vs pandemic (March 2020 to February 2021) periods, adjusted for patient age, sex, calendar month of admission, and county of residence. Results: The study population included 1 240 409 unique adults (13 011 176 person-months) in the prepandemic period and 1 206 361 unique adults (12 759 675 person-months) in the pandemic period, in which 51.3% of person-months (n = 6 547 231) were for female patients, with a relatively even age distribution between the ages of 24 and 64 years. The relative risk of having any ACSC hospitalization in the pandemic period compared with the prepandemic period was 0.72 (95% CI, 0.69-0.76; P < .001). This decrease in risk was slightly larger in magnitude than the overall reduction in non-ACSC, non-COVID-19 hospitalization rates (aRR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.81-0.83; P < .001). Large reductions were found in the relative risk of respiratory-related ACSC hospitalizations (aRR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.50-0.58; P < .001), with non-statistically significant reductions in diabetes-related ACSCs (aRR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.83-1.00; P = .05) and a statistically significant reduction in all other ACSC hospitalizations (aRR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.74-0.85; P < .001). Among ACSC hospitalizations, no change was found in the percentage that included an intensive care unit stay (aRR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.94-1.04; P = .64), and no change was found in the length of stay (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.98-1.06; P = .33). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of adults enrolled in a large commercial health maintenance organization plan, the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with reductions in both non-ACSC and ACSC hospitalizations, with particularly large reductions seen in respiratory-related ACSCs. These reductions were likely due to many patient-level and health system-level factors associated with hospitalization rates. Further research into the causes and long-term outcomes associated with these reductions in ACSC admissions is needed to understand how the pandemic has affected the delivery of ambulatory and hospital care in the US.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Facilities and Services Utilization , Female , Humans , Male , Michigan , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(9): 352-358, 2022 Mar 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1727017

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 exceeded 90% in clinical trials that included children and adolescents aged 5-11, 12-15, and 16-17 years (1-3). Limited real-world data on 2-dose mRNA vaccine effectiveness (VE) in persons aged 12-17 years (referred to as adolescents in this report) have also indicated high levels of protection against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection and COVID-19-associated hospitalization (4-6); however, data on VE against the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant and duration of protection are limited. Pfizer-BioNTech VE data are not available for children aged 5-11 years. In partnership with CDC, the VISION Network* examined 39,217 emergency department (ED) and urgent care (UC) encounters and 1,699 hospitalizations† among persons aged 5-17 years with COVID-19-like illness across 10 states during April 9, 2021-January 29, 2022,§ to estimate VE using a case-control test-negative design. Among children aged 5-11 years, VE against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated ED and UC encounters 14-67 days after dose 2 (the longest interval after dose 2 in this age group) was 46%. Among adolescents aged 12-15 and 16-17 years, VE 14-149 days after dose 2 was 83% and 76%, respectively; VE ≥150 days after dose 2 was 38% and 46%, respectively. Among adolescents aged 16-17 years, VE increased to 86% ≥7 days after dose 3 (booster dose). VE against COVID-19-associated ED and UC encounters was substantially lower during the Omicron predominant period than the B.1.617.2 (Delta) predominant period among adolescents aged 12-17 years, with no significant protection ≥150 days after dose 2 during Omicron predominance. However, in adolescents aged 16-17 years, VE during the Omicron predominant period increased to 81% ≥7 days after a third booster dose. During the full study period, including pre-Delta, Delta, and Omicron predominant periods, VE against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalization among children aged 5-11 years was 74% 14-67 days after dose 2, with wide CIs that included zero. Among adolescents aged 12-15 and 16-17 years, VE 14-149 days after dose 2 was 92% and 94%, respectively; VE ≥150 days after dose 2 was 73% and 88%, respectively. All eligible children and adolescents should remain up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, including a booster dose for those aged 12-17 years.


Subject(s)
/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Child , Child, Preschool , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Male , United States
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(7): 255-263, 2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1689713

ABSTRACT

CDC recommends that all persons aged ≥12 years receive a booster dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine ≥5 months after completion of a primary mRNA vaccination series and that immunocompromised persons receive a third primary dose.* Waning of vaccine protection after 2 doses of mRNA vaccine has been observed during the period of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant predominance† (1-5), but little is known about durability of protection after 3 doses during periods of Delta or SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant predominance. A test-negative case-control study design using data from eight VISION Network sites§ examined vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19 emergency department/urgent care (ED/UC) visits and hospitalizations among U.S. adults aged ≥18 years at various time points after receipt of a second or third vaccine dose during two periods: Delta variant predominance and Omicron variant predominance (i.e., periods when each variant accounted for ≥50% of sequenced isolates).¶ Persons categorized as having received 3 doses included those who received a third dose in a primary series or a booster dose after a 2 dose primary series (including the reduced-dosage Moderna booster). The VISION Network analyzed 241,204 ED/UC encounters** and 93,408 hospitalizations across 10 states during August 26, 2021-January 22, 2022. VE after receipt of both 2 and 3 doses was lower during the Omicron-predominant than during the Delta-predominant period at all time points evaluated. During both periods, VE after receipt of a third dose was higher than that after a second dose; however, VE waned with increasing time since vaccination. During the Omicron period, VE against ED/UC visits was 87% during the first 2 months after a third dose and decreased to 66% among those vaccinated 4-5 months earlier; VE against hospitalizations was 91% during the first 2 months following a third dose and decreased to 78% ≥4 months after a third dose. For both Delta- and Omicron-predominant periods, VE was generally higher for protection against hospitalizations than against ED/UC visits. All eligible persons should remain up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations to best protect against COVID-19-associated hospitalizations and ED/UC visits.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /administration & dosage , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Time Factors , United States , Young Adult
5.
JAMA ; 327(3): 237-247, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1669298

ABSTRACT

Importance: Following reductions in US ambulatory care early in the pandemic, it remains unclear whether care consistently returned to expected rates across insurance types and services. Objective: To assess whether patients with Medicaid or Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibility had significantly lower than expected return to use of ambulatory care rates than patients with commercial, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare fee-for-service insurance. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this retrospective cohort study examining ambulatory care service patterns from January 1, 2019, through February 28, 2021, claims data from multiple US payers were combined using the Milliman MedInsight research database. Using a difference-in-differences design, the extent to which utilization during the pandemic differed from expected rates had the pandemic not occurred was estimated. Changes in utilization rates between January and February 2020 and each subsequent 2-month time frame during the pandemic were compared with the changes in the corresponding months from the year prior. Age- and sex-adjusted Poisson regression models of monthly utilization counts were used, offsetting for total patient-months and stratifying by service and insurance type. Exposures: Patients with Medicaid or Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibility compared with patients with commercial, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare fee-for-service insurance, respectively. Main Outcomes and Measures: Utilization rates per 100 people for 6 services: emergency department, office and urgent care, behavioral health, screening colonoscopies, screening mammograms, and contraception counseling or HIV screening. Results: More than 14.5 million US adults were included (mean age, 52.7 years; 54.9% women). In the March-April 2020 time frame, the combined use of 6 ambulatory services declined to 67.0% (95% CI, 66.9%-67.1%) of expected rates, but returned to 96.7% (95% CI, 96.6%-96.8%) of expected rates by the November-December 2020 time frame. During the second COVID-19 wave in the January-February 2021 time frame, overall utilization again declined to 86.2% (95% CI, 86.1%-86.3%) of expected rates, with colonoscopy remaining at 65.0% (95% CI, 64.1%-65.9%) and mammography at 79.2% (95% CI, 78.5%-79.8%) of expected rates. By the January-February 2021 time frame, overall utilization returned to expected rates as follows: patients with Medicaid at 78.4% (95% CI, 78.2%-78.7%), Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibility at 73.3% (95% CI, 72.8%-73.8%), commercial at 90.7% (95% CI, 90.5%-90.9%), Medicare Advantage at 83.2% (95% CI, 81.7%-82.2%), and Medicare fee-for-service at 82.0% (95% CI, 81.7%-82.2%; P < .001; comparing return to expected utilization rates among patients with Medicaid and Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibility, respectively, with each of the other insurance types). Conclusions and Relevance: Between March 2020 and February 2021, aggregate use of 6 ambulatory care services increased after the preceding decrease in utilization that followed the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the rate of increase in use of these ambulatory care services was significantly lower for participants with Medicaid or Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibility than for those insured by commercial, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare fee-for-service.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Colonoscopy/statistics & numerical data , Colonoscopy/trends , Databases, Factual , Fee-for-Service Plans/statistics & numerical data , Fee-for-Service Plans/trends , Female , Health Services Needs and Demand/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Needs and Demand/trends , Humans , Insurance, Health/statistics & numerical data , Insurance, Health/trends , Male , Mammography/statistics & numerical data , Mammography/trends , Medicaid/statistics & numerical data , Medicare/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/trends , Time Factors , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
6.
BMJ ; 376: e066809, 2022 01 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1627540

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To explore whether and for how long use of healthcare services is increased among children and adolescents after covid-19. DESIGN: Before and after register based study. SETTING: General population of Norway. PARTICIPANTS: Norwegians aged 1-19 years (n=706 885) who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 from 1 August 2020 to 1 February 2021 (n=10 279 positive, n=275 859 negative) or not tested (n=420 747) and were not admitted to hospital, by age groups 1-5, 6-15, and 16-19 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Monthly percentages of all cause and cause specific healthcare use in primary care (general practitioner, emergency ward) and specialist care (outpatient, inpatient) from six months before to about six months after the week of being tested for SARS-CoV-2, using a difference-in-differences approach. RESULTS: A substantial short term relative increase in primary care use was observed for participants during the first month after a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result compared with those who tested negative (age 1-5 years: 339%, 95% confidence interval 308% to 369%; 6-15 years: 471%, 450% to 491%; 16-19 years: 401%, 380% to 422%). Use of primary care for the younger age groups was still increased at two months (1-5 years: 22%, 4% to 40%; 6-15 years: 14%, 2% to 26%) and three months (1-5 years: 26%, 7% to 46%, 6-15 years: 15%, 3% to 28%), but not for the oldest group (16-19 years: 11%, -2% to 24% and 6%, -7% to 19%, respectively). Children aged 1-5 years who tested positive also showed a minor long term (≤6 months) relative increase in primary care use (13%, -0% to 26%) that was not observed for the older age groups, compared with same aged children who tested negative. Results were similar yet the age differences less pronounced compared with untested controls. For all age groups, the increase in primary care visits was due to respiratory and general or unspecified conditions. No increased use of specialist care was observed. CONCLUSION: Covid-19 among children and adolescents was found to have limited impact on healthcare services in Norway. Preschool aged children might take longer to recover (3-6 months) than primary or secondary school students (1-3 months), usually because of respiratory conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Facilities and Services Utilization , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Age Factors , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Male , Norway , Pandemics , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
7.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0124921, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622003

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has shown a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from asymptomatic infections to severe disease and death. Pre-existing medical conditions and age have been mainly linked to the development of severe disease; however, the potential association of viral genetic characteristics with different clinical conditions remains unclear. SARS-CoV-2 variants with increased transmissibility were detected early in the pandemics, and several variants with potential relevance for public health are currently circulating around the world. In this study, we characterized 57 complete SARS-CoV-2 genomes during the exponential growth phase of the early epidemiological curve in Mexico, in April 2020. Patients were categorized under distinct disease severity outcomes: mild disease or ambulatory care, severe disease or hospitalized, and deceased. To reduce bias related to risk factors, the patients were less than 60 years old and with no diagnosed comorbidities A trait-association phylogenomic approach was used to explore genotype-phenotype associations, represented by the co-occurrence of mutations, disease severity outcome categories, and clusters of Mexican sequences. Phylogenetic results revealed a higher genomic diversity compared to the initial viruses detected during the early stage of the local epidemic. We identified a total of 90 single nucleotide variants compared to the Wuhan-Hu-1 genome, including 54 nonsynonymous mutations. We did not find evidence for the co-occurrence of mutations associated with specific disease outcomes. Therefore, in the group of patients studied, disease severity was likely mainly driven by the host genetic background and other demographic factors. IMPORTANCE The genetic association of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) with different clinical conditions remains unclear and needs further investigation. In this study, we characterized 57 complete SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patients in Mexico with distinct disease severity outcomes: mild disease or ambulatory care, severe disease or hospitalized, and deceased. To reduce bias related to risk factors the patients were less than 60 years old and with no diagnosed comorbidities. We did not find evidence for the co-occurrence of mutations associated with specific disease outcomes. Therefore, in the group of patients studied, disease severity was likely mainly driven by the host genetic background and other demographic factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Age Factors , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Cluster Analysis , Female , Genotype , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Mexico/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Mutation , Phenotype , Phylogeny , Preexisting Condition Coverage/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
8.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262136, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622352

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the emergency department (ED) has evolved into the de-facto site of care for a variety of substance use disorder (SUD) presentations, trends in ED utilization are an essential public health surveillance tool. Changes in ED visit patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic may reflect changes in access to outpatient treatment, changes in SUD incidence, or the unintended effects of public policy to mitigate COVID-19. We use a national emergency medicine registry to describe and characterize trends in ED visitation for SUDs since 2019. METHODS: We included all ED visits identified in a national emergency medicine clinical quality registry, which included 174 sites across 33 states with data from January 2019 through June 2021. We defined SUD using ED visit diagnosis codes including: opioid overdose and opioid use disorder (OUD), alcohol use disorders (AUD), and other SUD. To characterize changes in ED utilization, we plotted the 3-week moving average ratio of visit counts in 2020 and 2021 as compared to visit counts in 2019. FINDINGS: While overall ED visits declined in the early pandemic period and had not returned to 2019 baseline by June 2021, ED visit counts for SUD demonstrated smaller declines in March and April of 2020, so that the proportion of overall ED visits that were for SUD increased. Furthermore, in the second half of 2020, ED visits for SUD returned to baseline, and increased above baseline for OUD ever since May 2020. CONCLUSIONS: We observe distinct patterns in ED visitation for SUDs over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for OUD for which ED visitation barely declined and now exceeds previous baselines. These trends likely demonstrate the essential role of hospital-based EDs in providing 24/7/365 care for people with SUDs and mental health conditions. Allocation of resources must be directed towards the ED as a de-facto safety net for populations in crisis.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/psychology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Mental Disorders/psychology , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Humans , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data
9.
Ann Vasc Surg ; 80: 104-112, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596282

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated impact on the provision of vascular services, and the pattern of presentation and practice in a tertiary referral vascular unit. METHODS: This is a retrospective observational study from a prospectively maintained data-base comparing two time frames, Period 1(15th March-30th May 2019-P1) and Period 2(15th March-30th May 2020-P2)All the patients who presented for a vascular review in the 2 timeframes were included. Metrics of service and patient care episodes were collected and compared including, the number of emergency referrals, patient encounters, consultations, emergency admissions and interventions. Impact on key hospital resources such as critical care and imaging facilities during the two time periods were also examined. RESULTS: There was an absolute reduction of 44% in the number of patients who required urgent or emergency treatment from P1 to P2 (141 vs 79). We noted a non-significant trend towards an increase in the proportion of patients presenting with Chronic Limb Threatening Ischaemia (CLTI) Rutherford 5&6 (P=0.09) as well as a reduction in the proportion of admissions related to Aortic Aneurysm (P=0.21). There was a significant absolute reduction of 77% in all vascular interventions from P1 to P2 with the greatest reductions noted in Carotid (P=0.02), Deep Venous (P=0.003) and Aortic interventions (P=0.016). The number of lower limb interventions also decreased though there was a significant increase as a relative proportion of all vascular interventions in P2 (P=0.001). There was an absolute reduction in the number of scans performed for vascular pathology; Duplex scans reduced by 86%(P<0.002), CT scans by 68%(P<0.003) and MRIs by 74%(P<0.009). CONCLUSION: We report a decrease in urgent and emergency vascular presentations, admissions and interventions. The reduction in patients presenting with lower limb pathology was not as significant as other vascular conditions, resulting in a significant rise in interventions for CLTI and DFI as a proportion of all vascular interventions. These observations will help guide the provision of vascular services during future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospital Units/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Tertiary Healthcare/statistics & numerical data , Vascular Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Workload/statistics & numerical data , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Facilities and Services Utilization , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/statistics & numerical data , United Kingdom
10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24449, 2021 12 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585776

ABSTRACT

Syndromic surveillance systems monitor disease indicators to detect emergence of diseases and track their progression. Here, we report on a rapidly deployed active syndromic surveillance system for tracking COVID-19 in Israel. The system was a novel combination of active and passive components: Ads were shown to people searching for COVID-19 symptoms on the Google search engine. Those who clicked on the ads were referred to a chat bot which helped them decide whether they needed urgent medical care. Through its conversion optimization mechanism, the ad system was guided to focus on those people who required such care. Over 6 months, the ads were shown approximately 214,000 times and clicked on 12,000 times, and 722 people were informed they needed urgent care. Click rates on ads and the fraction of people deemed to require urgent care were correlated with the hospitalization rate ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], respectively) with a lead time of 9 days. Males and younger people were more likely to use the system, and younger people were more likely to be determined to require urgent care (slope: [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]). Thus, the system can assist in predicting case numbers and hospital load at a significant lead time and, simultaneously, help people determine if they need medical care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Linear Models , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Search Engine
11.
CMAJ Open ; 9(4): E1149-E1158, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575519

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There were large disruptions to health care services after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to describe the extent to which pandemic-related changes in service delivery and access affected use of primary care for children overall and by equity strata in the 9 months after pandemic onset in Manitoba and Ontario. METHODS: We performed a population-based study of children aged 17 years or less with provincial health insurance in Ontario or Manitoba before and during the COVID-19 pandemic (Jan. 1, 2017-Nov. 28, 2020). We calculated the weekly rates of in-person and virtual primary care well-child and sick visits, overall and by age group, neighbourhood material deprivation level, rurality and immigrant status, and assessed changes in visit rates after COVID-19 restrictions were imposed compared to expected baseline rates calculated for the 3 years before pandemic onset. RESULTS: Among almost 3 million children in Ontario and more than 300 000 children in Manitoba, primary care visit rates declined to 0.80 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.77-0.82) of expected in Ontario and 0.82 (95% CI 0.79-0.84) of expected in Manitoba in the 9 months after the onset of the pandemic. Virtual visits accounted for 53% and 29% of visits in Ontario and Manitoba, respectively. The largest monthly decreases in visits occurred in April 2020. Although visit rates increased slowly after April 2020, they had not returned to prerestriction levels by November 2020 in either province. Children aged more than 1 year to 12 years experienced the greatest decrease in visits, especially for well-child care. Compared to prepandemic levels, visit rates were lowest among rural Manitobans, urban Ontarians and Ontarians in low-income neighbourhoods. INTERPRETATION: During the study period, the pandemic contributed to rapid, immediate and inequitable decreases in primary care use, with some recovery and a substantial shift to virtual care. Postpandemic planning must consider the need for catch-up visits, and the long-term impacts warrant further study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pediatrics/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Age Distribution , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Databases, Factual , Emigrants and Immigrants , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Manitoba/epidemiology , Ontario/epidemiology , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , Rural Population
12.
Gac. méd. Méx ; 157(3): 323-326, may.-jun. 2021. tab
Article in Spanish | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1552052

ABSTRACT

Resumen Introducción: Los pacientes con diabetes experimentan dificultades para mantener el control glucémico durante el confinamiento por la pandemia de COVID-19, con el riesgo de presentar complicaciones crónicas de la diabetes y COVID-19 grave. Objetivo: El propósito de este estudio fue evaluar la conversión de un centro de atención primaria presencial de diabetes a un servicio de telemedicina por llamada telefónica. Métodos: Se realizaron consultas médicas por llamada telefónica durante la etapa inicial del confinamiento (abril a junio de 2020), para continuar el seguimiento de pacientes ingresados a un programa de atención multicomponente en diabetes. Resultados: Se realizaron 1118 consultas por llamada telefónica para continuar el seguimiento de 192 pacientes con diabetes tipo 2. Participaron diferentes profesionales de distintas áreas de la salud: atención médica, educación en diabetes, nutrición, psicología y podología. Conclusiones: La atención multicomponente en diabetes se transformó con éxito de un esquema de atención presencial a un servicio de telemedicina. Numerosos pacientes de atención primaria pueden ser candidatos a telemedicina. Se debe considerar un rediseño del modelo de atención que incorpore la telemedicina para mitigar la carga de morbimortalidad en enfermedades crónicas impuesta por la pandemia de COVID-19, pero también para la era pos-COVID-19.


Abstract Introduction: Patients with diabetes experience difficulties to maintain glycemic control during the confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the risk of developing diabetes chronic complications and severe COVID-19. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the conversion of an outpatient diabetes primary care center from a face-to-face care modality to a telemedicine care service by telephone. Methods: Medical consultations were made by telephone during the initial phase of confinement (April to June 2020), to then continue the follow-up of patients admitted to a multicomponent diabetes care program. Results: A total of 1,118 consultations were made by telephone and follow-up was subsequently continued in 192 patients with type 2 diabetes. Different professionals from different health areas participated, including medical care, diabetes education, nutrition, psychology and podiatry. Conclusions: Multicomponent diabetes care was successfully transformed from a face-to-face care modality to a telemedicine service. Many primary care patients may be candidates for telemedicine. A redesign of the care model that incorporates telemedicine should be considered to mitigate chronic diseases burden of morbidity and mortality imposed by COVID-19 pandemic, but also for the post-COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
Humans , Male , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , Telemedicine/methods , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/therapy , Ambulatory Care/methods , COVID-19 , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Prospective Studies , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data
13.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 84(10): 951-955, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546069

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread all over the world in 2020. In the face of the sudden pandemic, workforce mobilization has been of critical concern to medical institutions. During the pandemic, the public's behaviors of seeking medical assistance have also changed. Using the real-world data of a large medical center in Taiwan, this study aimed to analyze the fluctuations of outpatient visits among various departments and divisions in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide suggestions for staff allocation in similar future events. METHODS: Data of outpatient visits at Taipei Veterans General Hospital were obtained for analysis. The weekly fluctuations of outpatient visits among 36 departments or divisions were computed for 8 weeks from February 3 to March 29, 2020, the early phase of the pandemic. The monthly data of outpatient visits by department and division in March 2020 were also extracted for comparison with those in March 2019. A simple regression equation was used to calculate the weekly trends. RESULTS: Average outpatient visits decreased by 26% in 2 months following the outbreak. Among the 36 departments or divisions, ophthalmology, orthopedics, and cardiology underwent marked declines after the outbreak; the slopes of the simple regression equation were -110.8, -100.7, and -99.2, respectively. By contrast, transfusion medicine, toxicology, transplantation surgery, pediatric surgery, chest surgery, technical aid, and oncology were divisions less influenced. In the year-over-year comparison, infection was the only department or division with positive growth (20.5%), whereas all others exhibited negative growth. CONCLUSION: In the future, we can fulfil the additional personnel needs during a pandemic by redeploying physicians from departments experiencing a reduced workload. Hospitals should also establish preparatory employee training programs to ensure that the reassigned personnel are adequately equipped to serve in their new positions.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling , Taiwan/epidemiology
14.
Gac Med Mex ; 157(3): 309-312, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1535086

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Patients with diabetes experience difficulties to maintain glycemic control during the confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the risk of developing diabetes chronic complications and severe COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the conversion of an outpatient diabetes primary care center from a face-to-face care modality to a telemedicine care service by telephone. METHODS: Medical consultations were made by telephone during the initial phase of confinement (April to June 2020), to then continue the follow-up of patients admitted to a multicomponent diabetes care program. RESULTS: A total of 1,118 consultations were made by telephone and follow-up was subsequently continued in 192 patients with type 2 diabetes. Different professionals from different health areas participated, including medical care, diabetes education, nutrition, psychology and podiatry. CONCLUSIONS: Multicomponent diabetes care was successfully transformed from a face-to-face care modality to a telemedicine service. Many primary care patients may be candidates for telemedicine. A redesign of the care model that incorporates telemedicine should be considered to mitigate chronic diseases burden of morbidity and mortality imposed by COVID-19 pandemic, but also for the post-COVID-19 era.


INTRODUCCIÓN: Los pacientes con diabetes experimentan dificultades para mantener el control glucémico durante el confinamiento por la pandemia de COVID-19, con el riesgo de presentar complicaciones crónicas de la diabetes y COVID-19 grave. OBJETIVO: El propósito de este estudio fue evaluar la conversión de un centro de atención primaria presencial de diabetes a un servicio de telemedicina por llamada telefónica. MÉTODOS: Se realizaron consultas médicas por llamada telefónica durante la etapa inicial del confinamiento (abril a junio de 2020), para continuar el seguimiento de pacientes ingresados a un programa de atención multicomponente en diabetes. RESULTADOS: Se realizaron 1118 consultas por llamada telefónica para continuar el seguimiento de 192 pacientes con diabetes tipo 2. Participaron diferentes profesionales de distintas áreas de la salud: atención médica, educación en diabetes, nutrición, psicología y podología. CONCLUSIONES: La atención multicomponente en diabetes se transformó con éxito de un esquema de atención presencial a un servicio de telemedicina. Numerosos pacientes de atención primaria pueden ser candidatos a telemedicina. Se debe considerar un rediseño del modelo de atención que incorpore la telemedicina para mitigar la carga de morbimortalidad en enfermedades crónicas impuesta por la pandemia de COVID-19, pero también para la era pos-COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/methods , COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/therapy , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Prospective Studies , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data
15.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(41): e27399, 2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501200

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has intensified globally since its origin in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Many medical groups across the United States have experienced extraordinary clinical and financial pressures due to COVID-19 as a result of a decline in elective inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and most nonurgent elective physician visits. The current study reports how our medical group in a metropolitan community in Kentucky rebooted our ambulatory and inpatient services following the guidance of our state's phased reopening. Particular attention focused on the transition between the initial COVID-19 surge and post-COVID-19 surge and how our medical group responded to meet community needs. Ten strategies were incorporated in our medical group, including heightened communication; ambulatory telehealth; safe and clean outpatient environment; marketing; physician, other medical provider, and staff compensation; high quality patient experience; schedule optimization; rescheduling tactics; data management; and primary care versus specialty approaches. These methods are applicable to both the current rebooting stage as well as to a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the future.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/organization & administration , Office Visits/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/organization & administration , Humans , Kentucky/epidemiology , Pandemics , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Orthopedics ; 44(5): 274-279, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444386

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced many institutions to implement telemedicine to facilitate continued patient care at a distance. The quality of patient care with telemedicine in orthopedic oncology has not been assessed. Between March and June 2020, a telephone survey of 64 patients was conducted in an academic orthopedic oncology practice. Patient satisfaction was assessed with a Likert scale metric, open-ended feedback, and direct comparisons between telemedicine and in-office visits. Billing and collection financial data of the telemedicine cohort and of a separate cohort of in-office visits during the same time period were compared. The clinical competency of telemedicine visits was measured by delayed or missed diagnoses and surgical site infections that may be attributable to lack of an in-person physical examination. Overall, patients were largely satisfied with their telemedicine experience. More than 90% of patients described telemedicine as equal to or better than in-office visits regarding convenience, time, privacy, and overall quality. Patients reported that better assessment of their physical condition may be indicated, particularly in early postoperative and early sarcoma surveillance visits. Two of 64 patients had adverse events (both local recurrences) potentially attributable to lack of an in-person physical examination. Institutional financial reimbursement of telemedicine visits was comparable to that of in-office visits. These findings have supported continued use of telemedicine in our practice, particularly for patients traveling significant distance and those returning for sarcoma surveillance. However, the limitations of lack of an in-person physical examination should be considered on a case-by-case basis. [Orthopedics. 2021;44(5):274-279.].


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Orthopedics/methods , Patient Satisfaction , Telemedicine/methods , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Orthopedics/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Physical Examination , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/trends
18.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 105(5): 1240-1246, 2021 09 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431019

ABSTRACT

Countries like Ethiopia have had to make difficult decisions to balance between the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining the essential health service delivery. We assessed the effect of preventive COVID-19 measures on essential healthcare services in selected health facilities of Ethiopia. In a comparative cross-sectional study, we analyzed and compared data from seven health facilities over two periods: the pre-COVID-19 period before the first reported COVID-19 case in the country and during the COVID-19 period. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics and the independent t test. During the COVID-19 period the average number of monthly patient visits in the emergency department, pediatrics outpatient, and adult outpatient dropped by 27%, 30%, and 27%, respectively compared with the pre-COVID-19 period. Family planning; institutional delivery; childhood immunization; antenatal care-, hypertension- and diabetic patient follow-up, did not vary significantly between pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19. Moreover, the monthly average number of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV patients who visited health facilities for drug refill and clinical evaluation did not vary significantly during the two periods. In conclusion, the study highlights that the effect of public restrictions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic on essential care systems should be considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Services/standards , Primary Health Care , Tertiary Healthcare/statistics & numerical data , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Tuberculosis/epidemiology
19.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(8): 924-932, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413874

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests a role for excessive inflammation in COVID-19 complications. Colchicine is an oral anti-inflammatory medication beneficial in gout, pericarditis, and coronary disease. We aimed to investigate the effect of colchicine on the composite of COVID-19-related death or hospital admission. METHODS: The present study is a phase 3, randomised, double-blind, adaptive, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial. The study was done in Brazil, Canada, Greece, South Africa, Spain, and the USA, and was led by the Montreal Heart Institute. Patients with COVID-19 diagnosed by PCR testing or clinical criteria who were not being treated in hospital were eligible if they were at least 40 years old and had at least one high-risk characteristic. The randomisation list was computer-generated by an unmasked biostatistician, and masked randomisation was centralised and done electronically through an automated interactive web-response system. The allocation sequence was unstratified and used a 1:1 ratio with a blocking schema and block sizes of six. Patients were randomly assigned to receive orally administered colchicine (0·5 mg twice per day for 3 days and then once per day for 27 days thereafter) or matching placebo. The primary efficacy endpoint was the composite of death or hospital admission for COVID-19. Vital status at the end of the study was available for 97·9% of patients. The analyses were done according to the intention-to-treat principle. The COLCORONA trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04322682) and is now closed to new participants. FINDINGS: Trial enrolment began in March 23, 2020, and was completed in Dec 22, 2020. A total of 4488 patients (53·9% women; median age 54·0 years, IQR 47·0-61·0) were enrolled and 2235 patients were randomly assigned to colchicine and 2253 to placebo. The primary endpoint occurred in 104 (4·7%) of 2235 patients in the colchicine group and 131 (5·8%) of 2253 patients in the placebo group (odds ratio [OR] 0·79, 95·1% CI 0·61-1·03; p=0·081). Among the 4159 patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19, the primary endpoint occurred in 96 (4·6%) of 2075 patients in the colchicine group and 126 (6·0%) of 2084 patients in the placebo group (OR 0·75, 0·57-0·99; p=0·042). Serious adverse events were reported in 108 (4·9%) of 2195 patients in the colchicine group and 139 (6·3%) of 2217 patients in the placebo group (p=0·051); pneumonia occurred in 63 (2·9%) of 2195 patients in the colchicine group and 92 (4·1%) of 2217 patients in the placebo group (p=0·021). Diarrhoea was reported in 300 (13·7%) of 2195 patients in the colchicine group and 161 (7·3%) of 2217 patients in the placebo group (p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: In community-treated patients including those without a mandatory diagnostic test, the effect of colchicine on COVID-19-related clinical events was not statistically significant. Among patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19, colchicine led to a lower rate of the composite of death or hospital admission than placebo. Given the absence of orally administered therapies to prevent COVID-19 complications in community-treated patients and the benefit of colchicine in patients with PCR-proven COVID-19, this safe and inexpensive anti-inflammatory agent could be considered for use in those at risk of complications. Notwithstanding these considerations, replication in other studies of PCR-positive community-treated patients is recommended. FUNDING: The Government of Quebec, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the US National Institutes of Health, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the Rudin Family Foundation, and philanthropist Sophie Desmarais.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colchicine , Administration, Oral , Ambulatory Care/methods , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Colchicine/administration & dosage , Colchicine/adverse effects , Double-Blind Method , Drug Monitoring/methods , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intention to Treat Analysis , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
20.
J Urol ; 206(6): 1469-1479, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410198

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We examined changes in urological care delivery due to COVID-19 in the U.S. based on patient, practice, and local/regional demographic and pandemic response features. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed real-world data from the American Urological Association Quality (AQUA) Registry collected from electronic health record systems. Data represented 157 outpatient urological practices and 3,165 providers across 48 U.S. states and territories, including 3,297,721 unique patients, 12,488,831 total outpatient visits and 2,194,456 procedures. The primary outcome measure was the number of outpatient visits and procedures performed (inpatient or outpatient) per practice per week, measured from January 2019 to February 2021. RESULTS: We found large (>50%) declines in outpatient visits from March 2020 to April 2020 across patient demographic groups and states, regardless of timing of state stay-at-home orders. Nonurgent outpatient visits decreased more across various nonurgent procedures (49%-59%) than for procedures performed for potentially urgent diagnoses (38%-52%); surgical procedures for nonurgent conditions also decreased more (43%-79%) than those for potentially urgent conditions (43%-53%). African American patients had similar decreases in outpatient visits compared with Asians and Caucasians, but also slower recoveries back to baseline. Medicare-insured patients had the steepest declines (55%), while those on Medicaid and government insurance had the lowest percentage of recovery to baseline (73% and 69%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides real-world evidence on the decline in urological care across demographic groups and practice settings, and demonstrates a differential impact on the utilization of urological health services by demographics and procedure type.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Urologic Diseases/therapy , Urology/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Care/standards , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Ambulatory Care/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Telemedicine/standards , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/trends , United States/epidemiology , Urologic Surgical Procedures/standards , Urologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Urologic Surgical Procedures/trends , Urology/standards , Urology/trends , Young Adult
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