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2.
Health Expect ; 25(4): 1730-1740, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1961580

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Improving health services integration through primary health care (PHC) teams for patients with chronic conditions is essential to address their complex health needs and facilitate better health outcomes. The objective of this study was to explore if and how patients, family members, and caregivers were engaged or wanted to be engaged in developing, implementing and evaluating health policies related to PHC teams. This patient-oriented research was carried out in three provinces across Canada: British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. METHODS: A total of 29 semi-structured interviews with patients were conducted across the three provinces and data were analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Three key themes were identified: motivation for policy engagement, experiences with policy engagement and barriers to engagement in policy. The majority of participants in the study wanted to be engaged in policy processes and advocate for integrated care through PHC teams. Barriers to patient engagement in policy, such as lack of opportunities for engagement, power imbalances, tokenism, lack of accessibility of engagement opportunities and experiences of racism and discrimination were also identified. CONCLUSION: This study increases the understanding of patient, family member, and caregiver engagement in policy related to PHC team integration and the barriers that currently exist in this engagement process. This information can be used to guide decision-makers on how to improve the delivery of integrated health services through PHC teams and enhance patient, family member, and caregiver engagement in PHC policy. PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: We would like to acknowledge the contributions of our patient partners, Brenda Jagroop and Judy Birdsell, who assisted with developing and pilot testing the interview guide. Judy Birdsell also assisted with the preparation of this manuscript. This study also engaged patients, family members, and caregivers to share their experiences with engagement in PHC policy.


Subject(s)
Caregivers , Chronic Disease , Delivery of Health Care , Family , Health Policy , Patient Participation , Primary Health Care , Canada , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Humans , Patient Care Team , Primary Health Care/standards , Qualitative Research
4.
Health Expect ; 25(4): 1988-2001, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1916152

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reflections on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic often evoke the concept of 'resilience' to describe the way health systems adjusted and adapted their functions to withstand the disturbance of a crisis, and in some cases, improve and transform in its wake. Drawing from this, this study focuses on the role of consumer representatives in healthcare services in initiating changes to the way they participated in the pandemic response in the state of New South Wales in Australia. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with two cohorts of consumer representatives. Cohort A included experienced and self-identified consumer leaders, who worked together in a COVID-19 Consumer Leaders Taskforce; Cohort B included participants outside of this group, and purposively included consumer representatives from rural and regional areas, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities. RESULTS: The pause in consumer engagement to support health service decision-making in responding to the pandemic forced consumer representatives to consider alternative approaches to participate. Some initiated networking with each other, forming new collaborations to produce consumer-led research and guidelines on pandemic-related patient care. Others mobilized support from community and politicians to lobby for specific healthcare issues in their local areas. CONCLUSION: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic made visible the brittle nature of previous engagement processes of involving consumers in organizational design and governance. However, the momentum for proactive self-organization in an unexpected crisis created space for consumer representatives to reset and reimagine their role as active partners in health services. Their ability to adapt and adjust ways of working are key assets for a resilient health system. PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: This project is a collaborative study between academic researchers and health consumer (patient and public) representatives. It followed the principles of codesign and coresearch, whereby both consumer representatives and academic researchers contributed equally to all stages of the project. The study was cofunded by both academic institutions and consumer representative organizations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community Participation , Delivery of Health Care , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Community Participation/methods , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Humans , New South Wales/epidemiology , Pandemics
8.
Comput Math Methods Med ; 2022: 6112815, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794365

ABSTRACT

Due to the high amount of electronic health records, hospitals have prioritized data protection. Because it uses parallel computing and is distributed, the security of the cloud cannot be guaranteed. Because of the large number of e-health records, hospitals have made data security a major concern. The cloud's security cannot be guaranteed because it uses parallel processing and is distributed. The blockchain (BC) has been deployed in the cloud to preserve and secure medical data because it is particularly prone to security breaches and attacks such as forgery, manipulation, and privacy leaks. An overview of blockchain (BC) technology in cloud storage to improve healthcare system security can be obtained by reading this paper. First, we will look at the benefits and drawbacks of using a basic cloud storage system. After that, a brief overview of blockchain cloud storage technology will be offered. Many researches have focused on using blockchain technology in healthcare systems as a possible solution to the security concerns in healthcare, resulting in tighter and more advanced security requirements being provided. This survey could lead to a blockchain-based solution for the protection of cloud-outsourced healthcare data. Evaluation and comparison of the simulation tests of the offered blockchain technology-focused studies can demonstrate integrity verification with cloud storage and medical data, data interchange with reduced computational complexity, security, and privacy protection. Because of blockchain and IT, business warfare has emerged, and governments in the Middle East have embraced it. Thus, this research focused on the qualities that influence customers' interest in and approval of blockchain technology in cloud storage for healthcare system security and the aspects that increase people's knowledge of blockchain. One way to better understand how people feel about learning how to use blockchain technology in healthcare is through the United Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). A snowball sampling method was used to select respondents in an online poll to gather data about blockchain technology in Middle Eastern poor countries. A total of 443 randomly selected responses were tested using SPSS. Blockchain adoption has been shown to be influenced by anticipation, effort expectancy, social influence (SI), facilitation factors, personal innovativeness (PInn), and a perception of security risk (PSR). Blockchain adoption and acceptance were found to be influenced by anticipation, effort expectancy, social influence (SI), facilitating conditions, personal innovativeness (PInn), and perceived security risk (PSR) during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as providing an overview of current trends in the field and issues pertaining to significance and compatibility.


Subject(s)
Blockchain , Computer Security , Delivery of Health Care , Electronic Health Records , Adult , Blockchain/standards , Blockchain/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cloud Computing/standards , Cloud Computing/statistics & numerical data , Computational Biology , Computer Security/standards , Computer Security/statistics & numerical data , Computer Simulation , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Electronic Health Records/standards , Electronic Health Records/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Privacy , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
9.
Lancet Child Adolesc Health ; 6(2): 129-136, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1677246

ABSTRACT

Sepsis is a worldwide public health problem due to its high incidence and accompanying mortality, morbidity, and financial burden. It is a major cause of admission to paediatric intensive care units; despite advances in the diagnosis and treatment, both incidence and mortality are high in low-income and middle-income countries. There are several barriers in addressing the enormous burden of paediatric sepsis in these countries, which include: lack of data of incidence and mortality; unfamiliarity of sepsis by the lay public, leading to failure to seek care early, and by health professionals, leading to failure to treat emergently; and insufficient government funding for sepsis care programmes leading to inadequate staffing, material, and financial resources, and therefore, poor health systems. Socioeconomic inequalities, such as inequity and marked variation in income and education, high rates of malnutrition, high percentage of young population, and health systems that do not meet the population's demands also represent barriers in the care of children with sepsis in Latin America. In this Viewpoint, we draw attention to the problem of paediatric sepsis in Latin America and call for action to reduce the disease burden by proposing some solutions.


Subject(s)
Cost of Illness , Health Priorities , Sepsis/epidemiology , Sepsis/prevention & control , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Humans , Intensive Care Units, Pediatric/standards , Latin America/epidemiology , Social Class
10.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0261904, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674004

ABSTRACT

The need for resilient health systems is recognized as important for the attainment of health outcomes, given the current shocks to health services. Resilience has been defined as the capacity to "prepare and effectively respond to crises; maintain core functions; and, informed by lessons learnt, reorganize if conditions require it". There is however a recognized dichotomy between its conceptualization in literature, and its application in practice. We propose two mutually reinforcing categories of resilience, representing resilience targeted at potentially known shocks, and the inherent health system resilience, needed to respond to unpredictable shock events. We determined capacities for each of these categories, and explored this methodological proposition by computing country-specific scores against each capacity, for the 47 Member States of the WHO African Region. We assessed face validity of the computed index, to ensure derived values were representative of the different elements of resilience, and were predictive of health outcomes, and computed bias-corrected non-parametric confidence intervals of the emergency preparedness and response (EPR) and inherent system resilience (ISR) sub-indices, as well as the overall resilience index, using 1000 bootstrap replicates. We also explored the internal consistency and scale reliability of the index, by calculating Cronbach alphas for the various proposed capacities and their corresponding attributes. We computed overall resilience to be 48.4 out of a possible 100 in the 47 assessed countries, with generally lower levels of ISR. For ISR, the capacities were weakest for transformation capacity, followed by mobilization of resources, awareness of own capacities, self-regulation and finally diversity of services respectively. This paper aims to contribute to the growing body of empirical evidence on health systems and service resilience, which is of great importance to the functionality and performance of health systems, particularly in the context of COVID-19. It provides a methodological reflection for monitoring health system resilience, revealing areas of improvement in the provision of essential health services during shock events, and builds a case for the need for mechanisms, at country level, that address both specific and non-specific shocks to the health system, ultimately for the attainment of improved health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Disaster Planning/methods , Health Resources/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Needs and Demand , Medical Assistance/standards , Resilience, Psychological , Africa/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , World Health Organization
11.
Rheumatol Int ; 42(3): 379-390, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616122

ABSTRACT

To develop Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) for the use of Telehealth in Rheumatology in the Arab region, to identify the main barriers and facilitators of telehealth, and to provide rheumatologists with a practical toolkit for the implementation of telehealth. Guidelines were drafted by a core steering committee from the Arab League of Associations for Rheumatology (ArLAR) after performing a literature search. A multidisciplinary task force (TF), including 18 rheumatologists, 2 patients, and 2 regulators from 15 Arab countries, assessed the BPG using 3 rounds of anonymous online voting by modified Delphi process. The statements were included in the final BPG without further voting if ≥ 80% of TF members indicated high agreement. The voting on barriers and facilitators was performed through one voting round. The toolkit was developed based on available literature and discussions during the Delphi rounds. Four General Principles and twelve Statements were formulated. A teleconsultation was specifically defined for the purpose of these guidelines. The concept of choice in telehealth was highlighted, emphasizing patient confidentiality, medical information security, rheumatologist's clinical judgment, and local jurisdictional regulations. The top barrier for telehealth was the concern about the quality of care. The toolkit emphasized technical aspects of teleconsultation and proposed a triage system. The ArLAR BPG provide rheumatologists with a series of strategies about the most reliable, productive, and rational approaches to apply telehealth.


Subject(s)
Rheumatology/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Arab World , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Delphi Technique , Humans
12.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(12): e2136263, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565151

ABSTRACT

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic created the need for rapid and urgent guidance for clinicians to manage COVID-19 among patients and prevent transmission. Objective: To appraise the quality of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) using the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) criteria. Evidence Review: A search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to December 14, 2020, and a search of related articles to February 28, 2021, that included CPGs developed by societies or by government or nongovernment organizations that reported pharmacologic treatments of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Teams of 2 reviewers independently abstracted data and assessed CPG quality using the 15-item National Guideline Clearinghouse Extent of Adherence to Trustworthy Standards (NEATS) instrument. Findings: Thirty-two CPGs were included in the review. Of these, 25 (78.1%) were developed by professional societies and emanated from a single World Health Organization (WHO) region. Overall, the CPGs were of low quality. Only 7 CPGs (21.9%) reported funding sources, and 12 (37.5%) reported conflicts of interest. Only 5 CPGs (15.6%) included a methodologist, described a search strategy or study selection process, or synthesized the evidence. Although 14 CPGs (43.8%) made recommendations or suggestions for or against treatments, they infrequently rated confidence in the quality of the evidence (6 of 32 [18.8%]), described potential benefits and harms (6 of 32 [18.8%]), or graded the strength of the recommendations (5 of 32 [15.6%]). External review, patient or public perspectives, or a process for updating were rare. High-quality CPGs included a methodologist and multidisciplinary collaborations involving investigators from 2 or more WHO regions. Conclusions and Relevance: In this review, few COVID-19 CPGs met NAM standards for trustworthy guidelines. Approaches that prioritize engagement of a methodologist and multidisciplinary collaborators from at least 2 WHO regions may lead to the production of fewer, high-quality CPGs that are poised for updates as new evidence emerges. Trial Registration: PROSPERO Identifier: CRD42021245239.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Hospitalization , Pandemics , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Academies and Institutes , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Societies, Medical , Trust
13.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260555, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546958

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In June 2021, United Nations (UN) Member States committed to ambitious targets for scaling up community-led responses by 2025 toward meeting the goals of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. These targets build on UN Member States 2016 commitments to ensure that 30% of HIV testing and treatment programmes are community-led by 2030. At its current pace, the world is not likely to meet these nor other global HIV targets, as evidenced by current epidemiologic trends. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to further slow momentum made to date. The purpose of this paper is to review available evidence on the comparative advantages of community-led HIV responses that can better inform policy making towards getting the world back on track. METHODS: We conducted a scoping review to gather available evidence on peer- and community-led HIV responses. Using UNAIDS' definition of 'community-led' and following PRISMA guidelines, we searched peer-reviewed literature published from January 1982 through September 2020. We limited our search to articles reporting findings from randomized controlled trials as well as from quasi-experimental, prospective, pre/post-test evaluation, and cross-sectional study designs. The overall goals of this scoping review were to gather available evidence on community-led responses and their impact on HIV outcomes, and to identify key concepts that can be used to quickly inform policy, practice, and research. FINDINGS: Our initial search yielded 279 records. After screening for relevance and conducting cross-validation, 48 articles were selected. Most studies took place in the global south (n = 27) and a third (n = 17) involved youth. Sixty-five percent of articles (n = 31) described the comparative advantage of peer- and community-led direct services, e.g., prevention and education (n = 23) testing, care, and treatment programs (n = 8). We identified more than 40 beneficial outcomes linked to a range of peer- and community-led HIV activities. They include improved HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, intentions, self-efficacy, risk behaviours, risk appraisals, health literacy, adherence, and viral suppression. Ten studies reported improvements in HIV service access, quality, linkage, utilization, and retention resulting from peer- or community-led programs or initiatives. Three studies reported structural level changes, including positive influences on clinic wait times, treatment stockouts, service coverage, and exclusionary practices. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Findings from our scoping review underscore the comparative advantage of peer- and community-led HIV responses. Specifically, the evidence from the published literature leads us to recommend, where possible, that prevention programs, especially those intended for people living with and disproportionately affected by HIV, be peer- and community-led. In addition, treatment services should strive to integrate specific peer- and community-led components informed by differentiated care models. Future research is needed and should focus on generating additional quantitative evidence on cost effectiveness and on the synergistic effects of bundling two or more peer- and community-led interventions.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/standards , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Literacy , Humans , Medication Adherence , Peer Group , Risk-Taking , Self Efficacy , United Nations
17.
J Surg Oncol ; 125(4): 560-563, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1530195

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has resulted in significant disruptions in cancer care. The Illinois Cancer Collaborative (ILCC), a statewide multidisciplinary cancer collaborative, has developed expert recommendations for triage and management of colorectal cancer when disruptions occur in usual care. Such recommendations would be applicable to future outbreaks of COVID-19 or other large-scale disruptions in cancer care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Colorectal Neoplasms/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Combined Modality Therapy , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Humans , Illinois , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards
18.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260261, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528726

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In low- and middle- income countries, they may be particularly impacted by underfunded health systems, lack of personal protective equipment, challenging working conditions and barriers in accessing personal healthcare. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, occupational health screening was implemented at the largest public sector medical centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, during the "first wave" of the country's COVID-19 epidemic. Clients were voluntarily screened for symptoms of COVID-19, and if present, offered a SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection assay. In addition, measurement of height, weight, blood pressure and HbA1c, HIV and TB testing, and mental health screening using the Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ-14) were offered. An interviewer-administered questionnaire ascertained client knowledge and experiences related to COVID-19. RESULTS: Between 27th July and 30th October 2020, 951 healthcare workers accessed the service; 210 (22%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 12 (5.7%) tested positive. Clients reported high levels of concern about COVID-19 which declined with time, and faced barriers including lack of resources for infection prevention and control. There was a high prevalence of largely undiagnosed non-communicable disease: 61% were overweight or obese, 34% had a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above, 10% had an HbA1c diagnostic of diabetes, and 7% had an SSQ-14 score consistent with a common mental disorder. Overall 8% were HIV-positive, with 97% previously diagnosed and on treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Cases of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare workers mirrored the national epidemic curve. Implementation of comprehensive occupational health services during a pandemic was feasible, and uptake was high. Other comorbidities were highly prevalent, which may be risk factors for severe COVID-19 but are also important independent causes of morbidity and mortality. Healthcare workers are critical to combatting COVID-19; it is essential to support their physical and psychological wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Health Services/standards , Occupational Health/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Zimbabwe/epidemiology
19.
Curr Treat Options Oncol ; 22(12): 117, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527505

ABSTRACT

OPINION STATEMENT: COVID-19 has transformed the care we provide to gynecologic oncology patients. In addition to directly impacting the diagnosis and treatment of women with gynecologic cancer, it has affected our patient's ability to undergo recommended surveillance and has made an impact on every caregiver providing care during this time. Herein we review the current literature on the impact of COVID-19 on gynecologic oncology and highlight new approaches and innovations that have resulted in gynecologic cancer care as a result of the pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 on the field of gynecologic oncology has been profound. In addition to directly impacting the diagnosis and treatment of women with cancer, it has also challenged the very ethics with which we practice medicine. The equitable distribution of resources is paramount to upholding the Hippocratic Oath which we all invoke. The COVID-19 pandemic has stripped this oath down to its very core, forcing all medical practitioners to scrutinize who gets what resources and when. As the pandemic continues to unfold, the question remains - in the setting of a strained and overburdened healthcare system, how do we maximize beneficence to one group of patients, while maintaining non-maleficence to others? As gynecologic oncologists, we are responsible for advocating for our patients to ensure that the quality of their cancer care is not compromised, while also not overutilizing resources that are sorely needed for the care of COVID-19 victims, and not making them more likely to succumb to COVID-19 by the very nature of the treatment we provide. The effects of the pandemic are far-reaching and broad, and many of these are yet to be determined. Future studies are needed to analyze how the above-utilized strategies in GYN cancer care during the pandemic will impact the long-term outcomes of our patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Genital Neoplasms, Female/therapy , Infection Control/methods , Oncologists/standards , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Genital Neoplasms, Female/virology , Humans
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