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1.
Am J Surg ; 223(1): 176-181, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568479

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Perioperative inefficiency can increase cost. We describe a process improvement initiative that addressed preoperative delays on an academic vascular surgery service. METHODS: First case vascular surgeries from July 2019-January 2020 were retrospectively reviewed for delays, defined as late arrival to the operating room (OR). A stakeholder group spearheaded by a surgeon-informaticist analyzed this process and implemented a novel electronic medical records (EMR) preoperative tool with improved preoperative workflow and role delegation; results were reviewed for 3 months after implementation. RESULTS: 57% of cases had first case on-time starts with average delay of 19 min. Inappropriate preoperative orders were identified as a dominant delay source (average delay = 38 min). Three months post-implementation, 53% of first cases had on-time starts with average delay of 11 min (P < 0.05). No delays were due to missing orders. CONCLUSIONS: Inconsistent preoperative workflows led to inappropriate orders and delays, increasing cost and decreasing quality. A novel EMR tool subsequently reduced delays with projected savings of $1,200/case. Workflow standardization utilizing informatics can increase efficiency, raising the value of surgical care.


Subject(s)
Cost Savings/statistics & numerical data , Efficiency, Organizational/economics , Medical Informatics , Operating Rooms/organization & administration , Vascular Surgical Procedures/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers/economics , Academic Medical Centers/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers/statistics & numerical data , Efficiency, Organizational/standards , Efficiency, Organizational/statistics & numerical data , Health Plan Implementation/organization & administration , Health Plan Implementation/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Operating Rooms/economics , Operating Rooms/standards , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Program Evaluation , Quality Improvement , Retrospective Studies , Root Cause Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Vascular Surgical Procedures/economics , Vascular Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Workflow
2.
Dig Surg ; 38(4): 259-265, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247450

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The first COVID-19 pandemic wave hit most of the health-care systems worldwide. The present survey aimed to provide a European overview on the COVID-19 impact on surgical oncology. METHODS: This anonymous online survey was accessible from April 24 to May 11, 2020, for surgeons (n = 298) who were contacted by the surgical society European Digestive Surgery. The survey was completed by 88 surgeons (29.2%) from 69 different departments. The responses per department were evaluated. RESULTS: Of the departments, 88.4% (n = 61/69) reported a lower volume of patients in the outpatient clinic; 69.1% (n = 47/68) and 75.0% (n = 51/68) reported a reduction in hospital bed and the operating room capacity, respectively. As a result, the participants reported an average reduction of 29.3% for all types of oncological resections surveyed in this questionnaire. The strongest reduction was observed for oncological resections of hepato-pancreatico-biliary (HPB) cancers. Of the interviewed surgeons, 68.7% (n = 46/67) agreed that survival outcomes will be negatively impacted by the pandemic. CONCLUSION: The first COVID-19 pandemic wave had a significant impact on surgical oncology in Europe. The surveyed surgeons expect an increase in the number of unresectable cancers as well as poorer survival outcomes due to cancellations of follow-ups and postponements of surgeries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospital Bed Capacity/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/surgery , Oncology Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Surgical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Chemotherapy, Adjuvant/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Survival Rate , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data
3.
J Healthc Qual Res ; 36(3): 136-141, 2021.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1137459

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, elective surgical activity was reduced to a minimum. As both the number of cases and the hospitalization needs for this pathology decreased, we thought it appropriate to progressively recover scheduled surgical activity. This work describes how, even with the current alarm state, we were able to practically normalize this activity in a few weeks. METHODS: Two weeks before the intervention, the patients included in the waiting lists were contacted by telephone. After checking their health status and expressing their desire to undergo surgery, they were provided with recommendations to decrease the risk of coronavirus infection. Likewise, an exclusive circuit was established to carry out, 48 hours before the intervention, the detection of SARS-CoV-2 by means of exudates nasopharyngeal PCR. The results were evaluated by each surgical service and the anesthesiology service. In addition, asymptomatic Surgical Area professionals could undergo weekly screening for the early detection of coronavirus according to the recommendations of Occupational Health. RESULTS: In the midst of a pandemic, scheduled surgical activity was reduced by 85%. From the week of April 13, the operating rooms available were recovered, which allowed practically all surgical activity to be recovered the week of May 25. CONCLUSIONS: The creation of circuits and procedures to streamline surgical activity, still in full force of the state of alarm, has allowed us, in a few weeks, to recover almost all of it.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Elective Surgical Procedures , Hospitals, University/organization & administration , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgery Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Anesthesiology/organization & administration , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Urban/organization & administration , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient/prevention & control , Mass Screening , Nasopharynx/virology , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Personnel, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spain , Time-to-Treatment , Waiting Lists
4.
J Hosp Infect ; 110: 194-200, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062461

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reducing COVID-19 transmission relies on controlling droplet and aerosol spread. Fluorescein staining reveals microscopic droplets. AIM: To compare the droplet spread in non-laminar and laminar air flow operating theatres. METHODS: A 'cough-generator' was fixed to a theatre trolley at 45°. Fluorescein-stained 'secretions' were projected on to a series of calibrated targets. These were photographed under UV light and 'source detection' software measured droplet splatter size and distance. FINDINGS: The smallest droplet detected was ∼120 µm and the largest ∼24,000 µm. An average of 25,862 spots was detected in the non-laminar theatre, compared with 11,430 in the laminar theatre (56% reduction). The laminar air flow mainly affected the smaller droplets (<1000 µm). The surface area covered with droplets was: 6% at 50 cm, 1% at 2 m, and 0.5% at 3 m in the non-laminar air flow; and 3%, 0.5%, and 0.2% in the laminar air flow, respectively. CONCLUSION: Accurate mapping of droplet spread in clinical environments is possible using fluorescein staining and image analysis. The laminar air flow affected the smaller droplets but had limited effect on larger droplets in our 'aerosol-generating procedure' cough model. Our results indicate that the laminar air flow theatre requires similar post-surgery cleaning to the non-laminar, and staff should consider full personal protective equipment for medium- and high-risk patients.


Subject(s)
Aerosols , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Environment, Controlled , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
5.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0243299, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999823

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a profound impact on global healthcare. Shortages in staff, operating theatre space and intensive care beds has led to a significant reduction in the provision of surgical care. Even vascular surgery, often insulated from resource scarcity due to its status as an urgent specialty, has limited capacity due to the pandemic. Furthermore, many vascular surgical patients are elderly with multiple comorbidities putting them at increased risk of COVID-19 and its complications. There is an urgent need to investigate the impact on patients presenting to vascular surgeons during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The COvid-19 Vascular sERvice (COVER) study has been designed to investigate the worldwide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vascular surgery, at both service provision and individual patient level. COVER is running as a collaborative study through the Vascular and Endovascular Research Network (VERN), an independent, international vascular research collaborative with the support of numerous national and international organisations). The study has 3 'Tiers': Tier 1 is a survey of vascular surgeons to capture longitudinal changes to the provision of vascular services within their hospital; Tier 2 captures data on vascular and endovascular procedures performed during the pandemic; and Tier 3 will capture any deviations to patient management strategies from pre-pandemic best practice. Data submission and collection will be electronic using online survey tools (Tier 1: SurveyMonkey® for service provision data) and encrypted data capture forms (Tiers 2 and 3: REDCap® for patient level data). Tier 1 data will undergo real-time serial analysis to determine longitudinal changes in practice, with country-specific analyses also performed. The analysis of Tier 2 and Tier 3 data will occur on completion of the study as per the pre-specified statistical analysis plan.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Endovascular Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Health Impact Assessment/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Internet , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Specialties, Surgical/statistics & numerical data , Surgeons , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vascular Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data
7.
Oncologist ; 26(1): e66-e77, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-845840

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe is forcing surgical oncologists to change their daily practice. We sought to evaluate how breast surgeons are adapting their surgical activity to limit viral spread and spare hospital resources. METHODS: A panel of 12 breast surgeons from the most affected regions of the world convened a virtual meeting on April 7, 2020, to discuss the changes in their local surgical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, a Web-based poll based was created to evaluate changes in surgical practice among breast surgeons from several countries. RESULTS: The virtual meeting showed that distinct countries and regions were experiencing different phases of the pandemic. Surgical priority was given to patients with aggressive disease not candidate for primary systemic therapy, those with progressive disease under neoadjuvant systemic therapy, and patients who have finished neoadjuvant therapy. One hundred breast surgeons filled out the poll. The trend showed reductions in operating room schedules, indications for surgery, and consultations, with an increasingly restrictive approach to elective surgery with worsening of the pandemic. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 emergency should not compromise treatment of a potentially lethal disease such as breast cancer. Our results reveal that physicians are instinctively reluctant to abandon conventional standards of care when possible. However, as the situation deteriorates, alternative strategies of de-escalation are being adopted. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: This study aimed to characterize how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting breast cancer surgery and which strategies are being adopted to cope with the situation.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mastectomy/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Appointments and Schedules , Breast Neoplasms/pathology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Disease Progression , Elective Surgical Procedures/standards , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Elective Surgical Procedures/trends , Female , Global Burden of Disease , Health Care Rationing/standards , Health Care Rationing/statistics & numerical data , Health Care Rationing/trends , Humans , Mastectomy/economics , Mastectomy/standards , Mastectomy/statistics & numerical data , Neoadjuvant Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Operating Rooms/economics , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Operating Rooms/trends , Patient Selection , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/economics , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/statistics & numerical data , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/economics , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/organization & administration , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Referral and Consultation/trends , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surgeons/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment
8.
Clin Genitourin Cancer ; 19(2): e63-e68, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-652586

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To investigate the health-related quality of life of uro-oncologic patients whose surgery was postponed without being rescheduled during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From the March 1 to April 26, 2020, major urologic surgeries were drastically reduced at our tertiary-care referral hospital. In order to evaluate health-related quality-of-life outcomes, the SF-36 questionnaire was sent to all patients scheduled for major surgery at our department 3 weeks after the cancellation of the planned surgical procedures because of the COVID-19 emergency. RESULTS: All patients included in the analysis had been awaiting surgery for a median (interquartile range) time of 52.85 (35-72) days. The SF-36 questionnaire measured 8 domains: physical functioning (PF), role limitations due to physical health (PH), role limitations due to emotional problems (RE), energy/fatigue (EF), emotional well-being (EWB), social functioning (SF), bodily pain (BP), general health perceptions (GHP). When considering physical characteristics as measured by the SF-36 questionnaire, PF was 91.5 (50-100) and PH was 82.75 (50-100) with a BP of 79.56 (45-90). For emotional and social aspects, RE was 36.83 (0-100) with a SF of 37.98 (12.5-90). Most patients reported loss of energy (EF 35.28 [15-55]) and increased anxiety (EWB 47.18 [interquartile range, 20-75]). All patients perceived a reduction of their health conditions, with GHP of 49.47 (15-85). Generally, 86% of patients (n = 43) noted an almost intact physical function but a significant emotional alteration characterized by a prevalence of anxiety and loss of energy. CONCLUSION: The lockdown due to the novel coronavirus that has affected most operating rooms in Italy could be responsible for the increased anxiety and decrement in health status of oncologic patients. Without any effective solution, we should expect a new medical catastrophe-one caused by the increased risk of tumor progression and mortality in uro-oncologic patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quality of Life , Urologic Neoplasms/psychology , Urologic Surgical Procedures/psychology , Aged , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/etiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Health Status , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Operating Rooms/standards , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Self Report/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Urologic Neoplasms/surgery , Urologic Surgical Procedures/standards , Urologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data
9.
J Clin Anesth ; 67: 110024, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-707531

ABSTRACT

STUDY OBJECTIVE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impacts operating room (OR) management in regions with high prevalence (e.g., >1.0% of asymptomatic patients testing positive). Cases with aerosol producing procedures are isolated to a few ORs, initial phase I recovery of those patients is in the ORs, and multimodal environmental decontamination applied. We quantified the potential increase in productivity from also resequencing these cases among those 2 or 3 ORs. DESIGN: Computer simulation provided sample sizes requiring >100 years experimentally. Resequencing was limited to changes in the start times of surgeons' lists of cases. SETTING: Ambulatory surgery center or hospital outpatient department. MAIN RESULTS: With case resequencing applied before and on the day of surgery, there were 5.6% and 5.5% more cases per OR per day for the 2 ORs and 3 ORs, respectively, both standard errors (SE) < 0.1%. Resequencing cases among ORs to start cases earlier permitted increases in the hours into which cases could be scheduled from 10.5 to 11.0 h, while assuring >90% probability of each OR finishing within the prespecified 12-h shift. Thus, the additional cases were all scheduled before the day of surgery. The greater allocated time also resulted in less overutilized time, a mean of 4.2 min per OR per day for 2 ORs (SE 0.5) and 6.3 min per OR per day for 3 ORs (SE 0.4). The benefit could be achieved while limiting application of resequencing to days when the OR with the fewest estimated hours of cases has ≤8 h. CONCLUSIONS: Some ambulatory surgery ORs have unusually long OR times and/or room cleanup times (e.g., infection control efforts because of the pandemic). Resequencing cases before and on the day of surgery should be considered, because moving 1 or 2 cases occasionally has little to no cost with substantive benefit.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Ambulatory Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Operating Rooms/organization & administration , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling , Aerosols , Appointments and Schedules , COVID-19/prevention & control , Computer Simulation , Decontamination , Efficiency , Environmental Restoration and Remediation , Humans , Infection Control
10.
Transfusion ; 60(10): 2199-2202, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-703648

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused downtrends in both blood collections and blood usage. Rapidly visualizing the impact of the pandemic and newly implemented hospital policies on usage could potentially inform blood ordering practices to help avoid wastage. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Blood usage data were obtained from the laboratory information system. An R-based workflow was written in R Markdown for analysis and visualization. Reports were generated daily and shared with blood bank leadership. Selected reports were shared with institutional leadership, other departments, and collaborating blood suppliers. RESULTS: Mean daily transfusions dropped 42% from 3/9-13 to 3/16-20, with a significant decrease in usage of red cells, plasma, and cryoprecipitate. The greatest decline in use was seen in the general operating rooms, whereas outpatient transfusions remained steady. Weekly total blood usage decreased through the end of March into April and returned to normal levels in May. CONCLUSION: During two 5-weekday periods of changing hospital policies, overall blood usage decreased by almost half. Visualization of usage by hospital location showed a large decrease in general operating room usage after cancellation of elective procedures. This data visualization has informed decisions to modify standing product orders during an initial period of decreased usage as well as return to normal orders in later months.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Blood Banks/statistics & numerical data , Blood Transfusion/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/virology , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data
11.
Eur Urol Focus ; 6(5): 1120-1123, 2020 Sep 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-548745

ABSTRACT

The province of Bergamo in Italy and in particular Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital was one of the first areas to be hit by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and experience firsthand all the different phases of the crisis. We describe the timeline of the changes in overall urological workload during the outbreak period from lockdown to the slow reopening of activities. We sought to compare the 2020 hospital scenario with normality in the same period in 2019, highlighting the rationale behind decision-making when guidelines were not yet available. While we focus on the changes in surgical volumes for both elective (oncological and noncancer) and urgent cases, we have still to confront the risk of untreated and underdiagnosed patients. PATIENT SUMMARY: We present a snapshot of changes in urology during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in our hospital in Bergamo, Italy. The effect of medical lockdown on outcomes for untreated or underdiagnosed patients is still unknown.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hospital Bed Capacity/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Urologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Workload/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Health Policy , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Urogenital Neoplasms/surgery , Urologic Diseases/surgery , Urology Department, Hospital
14.
J Am Coll Surg ; 230(6): 1064-1073, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-46964

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread, swift actions and preparation are critical for ensuring the best outcomes for patients and providers. We aim to describe our hospital and Department of Surgery's experience in preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic and caring for surgical patients during this unprecedented time. STUDY DESIGN: This is a descriptive study outlining the strategy of a single academic health system for addressing the following 4 critical issues facing surgical departments during the COVID-19 pandemic: developing a cohesive leadership team and system for frequent communication throughout the department; ensuring adequate hospital capacity to care for an anticipated influx of COVID-19 patients; safeguarding supplies of blood products and personal protective equipment to protect patients and providers; and preparing for an unstable workforce due to illness and competing personal priorities, such as childcare. RESULTS: Through collaborative efforts within the Department of Surgery and hospital, we provided concise and regular communication, reduced operating room volume by 80%, secured a 4-week supply of personal protective equipment, and created reduced staffing protocols with back-up staffing plans. CONCLUSIONS: By developing an enabling infrastructure, a department can nimbly respond to crises like COVID-19 by promoting trust among colleagues and emphasizing an unwavering commitment to excellent patient care. Sharing principles and practical applications of these changes is important to optimize responses across the country and the world.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hospitals, University/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surgery Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Advisory Committees , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Communication , Humans , Infection Control , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Personnel, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgeons , Surgical Procedures, Operative
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