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1.
NCHS Data Brief ; (445): 1-8, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2073373

ABSTRACT

Telemedicine is a way for health care providers to deliver clinical health care to patients remotely through a computer or telephone, without an in-person office visit (1). The demonstrated benefits of telemedicine include improved access to care, convenience, and slowing spread of infection (1,2). During the COVID-19 pandemic, legislation expanded coverage for telemedicine health care services (3). This report uses 2021 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data to describe the percentage of adults who used telemedicine in the past 12 months by sociodemographic and geographic characteristics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Adult , United States , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Office Visits , Health Services
2.
Am J Otolaryngol ; 43(5): 103596, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1976987

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the differential factors associated with physician satisfaction between telemedicine and in-person visits in otolaryngology. METHODS: Study data included 646 telemedicine and 365 in-person encounters delivered from May-June 2020 at a tertiary center outpatient setting. Encounter-specific physician satisfaction was rated by 15 otolaryngologists using Provider Satisfaction Questionnaire (range 0-100) consisted of 5 items (patient needs addressed, patient involvement, adequacy of information given, quality of emotion support provided, and general interaction satisfaction). A multivariable linear mixed-effects model was used to explore patient demographic and clinical factors associated with physician satisfaction. RESULTS: Physician satisfaction scores for telemedicine and in-person visits were 83.0 [95 % CI: 77.0-88.9] and 88.1 [95 % CI: 82.5-93.6], respectively. Among telemedicine visits, physician satisfaction scores were significantly higher for follow-up (vs. new), videoconference (vs. telephone) encounters, and English-speaking patients in a multivariable model. New encounters had significantly lower satisfaction subdomain scores for adequacy of information given to the patient (ß = -4.7 [95 % CI: -7.3 to -2.0], p = 0.001) and addressing the needs of the patient among telemedicine visits (ß = -4.1, [95 % CI: -7.1 to -1.1], p = 0.007) while there were no differences in satisfaction scores between new vs follow-up visits among in-person visits. For non-English speaking patients, the physician satisfaction scores were significantly lower for subdomain scores assessing active patient participation (ß = -13.1, [95 % CI: -13.1 to -17.4], p < 0.001) and emotional support given to the patient (ß = -7.8, [95 % CI: -11.0 to -4.5], p < 0.001) for telemedicine visits. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine has been broadly adopted as an alternative option to deliver care in otolaryngology since COVID-19 pandemic. Appropriate triaging based on patient and encounter characteristics may enhance physician satisfaction and overall experiences with telemedicine. Further efforts are needed to provide adequate interpretation and videoconference services during telemedicine visits.


Subject(s)
Office Visits , Otolaryngology , Personal Satisfaction , Physicians , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Physicians/psychology
3.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 35(3): 491-496, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875333

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: We sought to determine if there are differences between number of International Classification of Disease-10 (ICD-10) codes per visit before and after COVID-19 when comparing in-office visits and between telemedicine vs in-office visits, toward the goal of determining value of telemedicine visits relative to in-office visits. METHODS: We did a chart review study assessing the number of ICD-10 codes noted by providers at a large academic medical institution in 2019 and 2020. Only in-office visits were reviewed in 2019. The focus of analysis was on individual patient visits per visit type; however, a subset of patients who had visits in both 2019 and 2020 were also analyzed. We compared mean number of diagnoses for encounter types using encounter, billing and coding data. RESULTS: We analyzed 211,829 patient encounters. For 2020, 73% were in office. Mean number of diagnoses per encounter for 2019 was 2.65 (in office only), compared with 3.04 in office, 2.76 telephone, and 2.48 televideo for 2020. DISCUSSION: We found an increase in the number of diagnoses addressed during in-office visits from 2019 to 2020. When looking at diagnoses managed per visit, all 3 types of visits had similar complexity. These results may guide future reimbursement policy for telemedicine visits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , International Classification of Diseases , Office Visits , Telephone
4.
J Am Coll Surg ; 234(2): 191-202, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Surgical patients with limited digital literacy may experience reduced telemedicine access. We investigated racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in telemedicine compared with in-person surgical consultation during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of new visits within the Division of General & Gastrointestinal Surgery at an academic medical center occurring between March 24 through June 23, 2020 (Phase I, Massachusetts Public Health Emergency) and June 24 through December 31, 2020 (Phase II, relaxation of restrictions on healthcare operations) was performed. Visit modality (telemedicine/phone vs in-person) and demographic data were extracted. Bivariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression were performed to evaluate associations between patient characteristics and visit modality. RESULTS: During Phase I, 347 in-person and 638 virtual visits were completed. Multivariable modeling demonstrated no significant differences in virtual compared with in-person visit use across racial/ethnic or insurance groups. Among patients using virtual visits, Latinx patients were less likely to have video compared with audio-only visits than White patients (OR, 0.46; 95% CI 0.22-0.96). Black race and insurance type were not significant predictors of video use. During Phase II, 2,922 in-person and 1,001 virtual visits were completed. Multivariable modeling demonstrated that Black patients (OR, 1.52; 95% CI 1.12-2.06) were more likely to have virtual visits than White patients. No significant differences were observed across insurance types. Among patients using virtual visits, race/ethnicity and insurance type were not significant predictors of video use. CONCLUSION: Black patients used telemedicine platforms more often than White patients during the second phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual consultation may help increase access to surgical care among traditionally under-resourced populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , General Surgery/statistics & numerical data , Office Visits/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Surgical Procedures , Computer Literacy , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Logistic Models , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Public Health , Racial Groups/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Socioeconomic Factors , Telephone/statistics & numerical data
5.
BMJ ; 375: e065834, 2021 12 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599220

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the rates for consulting a general practitioner (GP) for sequelae after acute covid-19 in patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 and those managed in the community, and to determine how the rates change over time for patients in the community and after vaccination for covid-19. DESIGN: Population based study. SETTING: 1392 general practices in England contributing to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink Aurum database. PARTICIPANTS: 456 002 patients with a diagnosis of covid-19 between 1 August 2020 and 14 February 2021 (44.7% men; median age 61 years), admitted to hospital within two weeks of diagnosis or managed in the community, and followed-up for a maximum of 9.2 months. A negative control group included individuals without covid-19 (n=38 511) and patients with influenza before the pandemic (n=21 803). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Comparison of rates for consulting a GP for new symptoms, diseases, prescriptions, and healthcare use in individuals admitted to hospital and those managed in the community, separately, before and after covid-19 infection, using Cox regression and negative binomial regression for healthcare use. The analysis was repeated for the negative control and influenza cohorts. In individuals in the community, outcomes were also described over time after a diagnosis of covid-19, and compared before and after vaccination for individuals who were symptomatic after covid-19 infection, using negative binomial regression. RESULTS: Relative to the negative control and influenza cohorts, patients in the community (n=437 943) had significantly higher GP consultation rates for multiple sequelae, and the most common were loss of smell or taste, or both (adjusted hazard ratio 5.28, 95% confidence interval 3.89 to 7.17, P<0.001); venous thromboembolism (3.35, 2.87 to 3.91, P<0.001); lung fibrosis (2.41, 1.37 to 4.25, P=0.002), and muscle pain (1.89, 1.63 to 2.20, P<0.001); and also for healthcare use after a diagnosis of covid-19 compared with 12 months before infection. For absolute proportions, the most common outcomes ≥4 weeks after a covid-19 diagnosis in patients in the community were joint pain (2.5%), anxiety (1.2%), and prescriptions for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (1.2%). Patients admitted to hospital (n=18 059) also had significantly higher GP consultation rates for multiple sequelae, most commonly for venous thromboembolism (16.21, 11.28 to 23.31, P<0.001), nausea (4.64, 2.24 to 9.21, P<0.001), prescriptions for paracetamol (3.68, 2.86 to 4.74, P<0.001), renal failure (3.42, 2.67 to 4.38, P<0.001), and healthcare use after a covid-19 diagnosis compared with 12 months before infection. For absolute proportions, the most common outcomes ≥4 weeks after a covid-19 diagnosis in patients admitted to hospital were venous thromboembolism (3.5%), joint pain (2.7%), and breathlessness (2.8%). In patients in the community, anxiety and depression, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, general pain, nausea, chest tightness, and tinnitus persisted throughout follow-up. GP consultation rates were reduced for all symptoms, prescriptions, and healthcare use, except for neuropathic pain, cognitive impairment, strong opiates, and paracetamol use in patients in the community after the first vaccination dose for covid-19 relative to before vaccination. GP consultation rates were also reduced for ischaemic heart disease, asthma, and gastro-oesophageal disease. CONCLUSIONS: GP consultation rates for sequelae after acute covid-19 infection differed between patients with covid-19 who were admitted to hospital and those managed in the community. For individuals in the community, rates of some sequelae decreased over time but those for others, such as anxiety and depression, persisted. Rates of some outcomes decreased after vaccination in this group.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Community Health Services , General Practitioners , Hospitalization , Office Visits/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Venous Thromboembolism/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Proportional Hazards Models , State Medicine , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Venous Thromboembolism/etiology
6.
Curr Opin Urol ; 32(2): 152-157, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592004

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review article is to discuss the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the evolution of telemedicine use for urology office visits. RECENT FINDINGS: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic change in the delivery of healthcare. Fraught with numerous barriers previously, the need for healthcare delivery during a time of social distancing and increased healthcare requirements drove the adoption of telemedicine forward. This 'trial period' over the last year has allowed us to appreciate the potential utility of telehealth-associated services in practice and consider its role even after the pandemic. Multiple studies equating its utility to in-person visits whereas simultaneously providing added convenience and cost-related savings have been published in the urologic literature. Permanent regulatory changes will need to be implemented to allow us the flexibility to use telehealth in the future. SUMMARY: It is clear that telemedicine is an effective strategy for delivery of healthcare under the right circumstances. Although it initially started to fill a need out of necessity, it can help us effectively deliver healthcare as long as the regulations surrounding telemedicine allow us to continue to use it. This period has been challenging for healthcare delivery and led to policy changes that served as a catalyst to help us better understand this previously underutilized resource.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Urology , Humans , Office Visits , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Ophthalmic Epidemiol ; 29(6): 613-620, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569401

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To explore individual and community factors associated with adherence to physician recommended urgent eye visits via a tele-triage system during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHOD: We retrospectively reviewed acute visit requests and medical exam data between April 6, 2020 and June 6, 2020. Patient demographics and adherence to visit were examined. Census tract level community characteristics from the U.S. Census Bureau and zip code level COVID-19 related death data from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office were appended to each geocoded patient address. Descriptive statistics, t-tests, and logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the effects of individual and community variables on adherence to visit. RESULTS: Of 229 patients recommended an urgent visit, 216 had matching criteria on chart review, and 192 (88.9%) adhered to their visit. No difference in adherence was found based on individual characteristics including: age (p = .24), gender (p = .94), race (p = .56), insurance (p = .28), nor new versus established patient status (p = .20). However, individuals who did not adhere were more likely to reside in neighborhoods with a greater proportion of Blacks (59.4% vs. 33.4%; p = .03), greater unemployment rates (17.5% vs. 10.7%; p < .01), and greater cumulative deaths from COVID-19 (56 vs. 31; p = .01). Unemployment rate continued to be statistically significant after controlling for race and cumulative deaths from COVID-19 (p = .04). CONCLUSION: We found that as community unemployment rate increases, adherence to urgent eye visits decreases, after controlling for relevant neighborhood characteristics. Unemployment rates were highest in predominantly Black neighborhoods early in the pandemic, which may have contributed to existing racial disparities in eye care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Eye , Office Visits , Ophthalmology , Patient Compliance , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Patient Compliance/ethnology , Patient Compliance/statistics & numerical data , Triage/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Healthcare Disparities/ethnology , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Office Visits/economics , Office Visits/statistics & numerical data , Ophthalmology/statistics & numerical data , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data , Physical Examination/economics , Physical Examination/statistics & numerical data
8.
Rev Neurol ; 73(11): 390-393, 2021 12 01.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1539089

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Countries worldwide are having to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. The burden on their national health systems is currently at unprecedented levels. Telemedicine care was initiated at an early stage in our centre. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a descriptive and retrospective study to evaluate the usefulness of telemedicine during lockdown in our centre. Patients included in the study had a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy, with two visits via telemedicine, who had been followed up for at least six months during the normal situation prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and two face-to-face consultations during the same period. RESULTS: A total of 115 patients were included. The average age was 29 years, 53% were males, 52.2% had focal epilepsy, 58.3% with a structural causation and 57.4% had difficult-to-treat epilepsy. The mean number of seizures prior to lockdown was 9.73/month and 6.54/month during lockdown. The number of patients who were seizure-free when lockdown ended was higher than that observed in the phase before it began: 54 versus 45 out of 115. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine is a very useful strategy for monitoring the course, progress and therapeutic changes in epileptic patients in the short and medium term. The reduction in the seizure frequency can be sustained in the medium term, not only in the short term as corroborated in previous studies. Telemedicine allows access to virtually all patients and closer monitoring.


TITLE: Telemedicina y epilepsia: experiencia asistencial de un centro de referencia nacional durante la pandemia de COVID-19.Introducción. El mundo entero está afrontando la pandemia por COVID-19 causada por el SARS-CoV-2. Los sistemas de salud nacionales están sometidos a niveles de sobrecarga sin precedentes. En nuestro centro se inició de forma temprana la asistencia a través de telemedicina. Pacientes y métodos. Es un estudio descriptivo y retrospectivo para evaluar la utilidad de la telemedicina durante el confinamiento en nuestro centro. Se incluyó a los pacientes con diagnóstico clínico de epilepsia, con dos asistencias a través de telemedicina, que tuvieran seguimiento durante al menos seis meses durante la situación de normalidad previa a la pandemia por COVID-19 y dos consultas presenciales durante ese mismo período. Resultados. Se incluyó a 115 pacientes. La media de edad fue de 29 años, el 53% fueron varones, el 52,2% con epilepsia focal, el 58,3% de etiología estructural y el 57,4% presentaba epilepsia de difícil control. La media de crisis preconfinamiento fue de 9,73/mes y de 6,54/mes durante el confinamiento. El número de pacientes libres de crisis fue mayor al final del confinamiento respecto a la fase preconfinamiento, 54 frente a 45/115. Conclusiones. La telemedicina es una estrategia de mucha utilidad en la monitorización de la evolución, el control evolutivo y los cambios terapéuticos en pacientes epilépticos a corto y medio plazo. La reducción de la frecuencia de crisis puede mantenerse a medio plazo, no sólo a corto plazo como se corroboró en estudios previos. La telemedicina permite acceder a prácticamente la totalidad de los pacientes y realizar un seguimiento más cercano.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epilepsy/drug therapy , Pandemics , Remote Consultation/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease Management , Drug Resistant Epilepsy/drug therapy , Drug Resistant Epilepsy/epidemiology , Epilepsies, Partial/drug therapy , Epilepsies, Partial/epidemiology , Epilepsy/epidemiology , Female , Guatemala/epidemiology , Health Facility Closure , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Mobile Applications , Office Visits/statistics & numerical data , Procedures and Techniques Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Remote Consultation/trends , Retrospective Studies , Seizures/epidemiology , Seizures/prevention & control , Telephone , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Treatment Outcome , Videoconferencing , Young Adult
9.
Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg ; 27(12): 719-725, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526238

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Preoperative counseling can affect postoperative outcomes and satisfaction. We hypothesized that patient preparedness would be equivalent after preoperative counseling phone calls versus preoperative counseling office visits before prolapse surgery. METHODS: This was an equivalence randomized controlled trial of women undergoing pelvic organ prolapse surgery. Participants were randomized to receive standardized counseling via a preoperative phone call or office visit. The primary outcome was patient preparedness measured on a 5-point Likert scale by the Patient Preparedness Questionnaire at the postoperative visit. A predetermined equivalence margin of 20% was used. Two 1-sided tests for equivalence were used for the primary outcome. RESULTS: We randomized 120 women. The study was concluded early because of COVID-19 and subsequent surgery cancellations. There were 85 participants with primary outcome data (43 offices, 42 phones). Mean age was 62.0 years (±1.0) and 64 (75.3%) had stage III or stage IV prolapse. The primary outcome, patient preparedness measured at the postoperative visit, was equivalent between groups (office, n = 43 [97.7%]; phone, n = 42 [97.6%], P < 0.001). Most women reported they would have preferred a phone call (n = 66, 65.5%) with more women in the phone group expressing this preference than the office group (office 40.5% vs phone 90.5%, P < 0.001). Ultimately, nearly all women (96.5%) were satisfied with their method of counseling. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative counseling phone calls were equivalent to office visits for patient preparedness for pelvic organ prolapse surgery. This study demonstrates patient acceptance of phone calls for preoperative counseling. Telehealth modalities should be considered as an option for preoperative patient counseling.


Subject(s)
Counseling/methods , Office Visits , Patient Education as Topic/methods , Pelvic Organ Prolapse/surgery , Telephone , Early Termination of Clinical Trials , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Patient Preference , Patient Satisfaction , Preoperative Care
10.
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
11.
Telemed J E Health ; 28(7): 970-975, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493648

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted significant racial and age-related health disparities. In response to pandemic-related restrictions, orthopedic surgery departments have expanded telemedicine use. We analyzed data from a tertiary care institute during the pandemic to understand potential racial and age-based disparities in access to care and telemedicine utilization. Materials and Methods: Data on patient race and age, and numbers of telemedicine visits, in-person office visits, and types of telemedicine were extracted for time periods during and preceding the pandemic. We calculated odds ratios for visit occurrence and type across race and age groups. Results: Patients ages 27-54 were 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-1.4, p < 0.01) and 1.2 (95% CI 1.0-1.3, p < 0.05) times more likely to be seen than patients <27 during the pandemic, versus the 2019 and 2020 controls. Patients 54-82 were 1.3 (95% CI 1.1-1.5, p < 0.001) times more likely to be seen than patients <27 during the pandemic versus the 2019 control. Patients 27-54, 54-82, and 82+, respectively, were 3.3 (95% CI 2.6-4.2, p < 1e-20), 3.5 (95% CI 2.8-4.4, p < 1e-24), and 1.9 (95% CI 1.1-3.4, p < 0.05) times more likely to be seen by telemedicine than patients <27. Among pandemic telemedicine appointments, Black patients were 1.5 (95% CI 1.2-1.9, p < 1e-3) times more likely to be seen by audio-only telemedicine than White patients, as compared with video telemedicine. Conclusions: Telemedicine access barriers must be reduced to ensure that disparities during the pandemic do not persist.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Orthopedic Procedures , Telemedicine , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Office Visits , Pandemics
15.
Sci Prog ; 104(3): 368504211042980, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430320

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to evaluate the truthfulness of patients about their pre-appointment COVID-19 screening tests at a dental clinic. METHODS: A total of 613 patients were recruited for the study from the dental clinic at the Faculty of Dentistry, Najran University, Saudi Arabia. The data collection was done in three parts from the patients who visited the hospital to receive dental treatment. The first part included the socio-demographic characteristics of the patients and the COVID-19 swab tests performed within the past 14 days. The second part was the clinical examination, and the third part was a confirmation of the swab test taken by the patient by checking the Hesen website using the patient ID. After data collection, statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS 26.0. Descriptive analysis was done and expressed as mean, standard deviation, frequency, and percentage (%). A cross-tabulation, also described as a contingency table, was used to identify trends and patterns across data and explain the correlation between different variables. RESULTS: It was seen from the status of the swab test within 14 days of the patient's arrival at the hospital for the dental treatment that 18 (2.9%) patients lied about the pre-treatment swab test within 14 days, and 595 (97.1%) were truthful. The observed and expected counts showed across genders and diagnosis a statistically significant difference (p < 0.001), and there was no significant difference seen across different age groups (p = 0.064) of the patients. CONCLUSIONS: Dental healthcare workers are worried and assume a high risk of COVID-19 infection as the patients are not truthful about the pre-treatment COVID-19 swab test. Routine rapid tests on patients and the healthcare staff are a feasible option for lowering overall risks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Patient Compliance/statistics & numerical data , Truth Disclosure/ethics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , Dental Offices/ethics , Dental Offices/organization & administration , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Office Visits/statistics & numerical data , Patient Compliance/psychology , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology
17.
Rheumatol Int ; 41(10): 1755-1761, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384393

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic resulted in major disruptions to medical care. We aimed to understand changes in outpatient care delivery and use of telemedicine in U.S. rheumatology practices during this period. Rheumatology Informatics System Effectiveness (RISE) is a national, EHR-enabled registry that passively collects data on all patients seen by participating practices. Included practices were required to have been participating in RISE from January 2019 through August 2020 (N = 213). We compared total visit counts and telemedicine visits during March-August 2020 to March-August 2019 and stratified by locations in states with shelter-in-place (SIP) orders. We assessed characteristics of patients within each practice, including primary rheumatic diagnosis and disease activity scores, where available. We included 213 practices with 945,160 patients. Overall, we found visit counts decreased by 10.9% (from 1,302,455 to 1,161,051) between March and August 2020 compared to 2019; this drop was most dramatic during the month of April (- 22.3%). Telemedicine visits increased from 0% to a mean of 12.1%. Practices in SIP states had more dramatic decreases in visits, (11.5% vs. 5.3%). We found no major differences in primary diagnoses or disease activity across the two periods. We detected a meaningful decrease in rheumatology visits in March-August 2020 during the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic compared to the year prior with a concomitant increase in the use of telemedicine. Future work should address possible adverse consequences to patient outcomes due to decreased contact with clinicians.


Subject(s)
Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Office Visits/statistics & numerical data , Rheumatology/organization & administration , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Registries , Rheumatology/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
19.
J Neuroophthalmol ; 41(3): 362-367, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367100

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) has significantly changed medical practice in the United States, including an increase in the utilization of telemedicine. Here, we characterize change in neuro-ophthalmic care delivery during the early COVID-19 PHE, including a comparison of care delivered via telemedicine and in office. METHODS: Neuro-ophthalmology outpatient encounters from 3 practices in the United States (4 providers) were studied during the early COVID-19 PHE (March 15, 2020-June 15, 2020) and during the same dates 1 year prior. For unique patient visits, patient demographics, visit types, visit format, and diagnosis were compared between years and between synchronous telehealth and in-office formats for 2020. RESULTS: There were 1,276 encounters for 1,167 patients. There were 30% fewer unique patient visits in 2020 vs 2019 (477 vs 670) and 55% fewer in-office visits (299 vs 670). Compared with 2019, encounters in 2020 were more likely to be established, to occur via telemedicine and to relate to an efferent diagnosis. In 2020, synchronous telehealth visits were more likely to be established compared with in-office encounters. CONCLUSIONS: In the practices studied, a lower volume of neuro-ophthalmic care was delivered during the early COVID-19 public health emergency than in the same period in 2019. The type of care shifted toward established patients with efferent diagnoses and the modality of care shifted toward telemedicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Eye Diseases/epidemiology , Neurology/organization & administration , Office Visits/trends , Ophthalmology/organization & administration , Pandemics , Telemedicine/methods , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
20.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0255992, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354764

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We aimed to determine the degree to which reasons for primary care visits changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We used data from the University of Toronto Practice Based Research Network (UTOPIAN) to compare the most common reasons for primary care visits before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the number of visits and the number of patients seen for each of the 25 most common diagnostic codes. The proportion of visits involving virtual care was assessed as a secondary outcome. RESULTS: UTOPIAN family physicians (N = 379) conducted 702,093 visits, involving 264,942 patients between March 14 and December 31, 2019 (pre-pandemic period), and 667,612 visits, involving 218,335 patients between March 14 and December 31, 2020 (pandemic period). Anxiety was the most common reason for visit, accounting for 9.2% of the total visit volume during the pandemic compared to 6.5% the year before. Diabetes and hypertension remained among the top 5 reasons for visit during the pandemic, but there were 23.7% and 26.2% fewer visits and 19.5% and 28.8% fewer individual patients accessing care for diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Preventive care visits were substantially reduced, with 89.0% fewer periodic health exams and 16.2% fewer well-baby visits. During the pandemic, virtual care became the dominant care format (77.5% virtual visits). Visits for anxiety and depression were the most common reasons for a virtual visit (90.6% virtual visits). CONCLUSION: The decrease in primary care visit volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic varied based on the reason for the visit, with increases in visits for anxiety and decreases for preventive care and visits for chronic diseases. Implications of increased demands for mental health services and gaps in preventive care and chronic disease management may require focused efforts in primary care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Office Visits , Primary Health Care , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
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