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4.
J Healthc Manag ; 66(4): 258-270, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475897

ABSTRACT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Home hospital care (HHC) is a new and exciting concept that holds the promise of achieving all three components of the Triple Aim and reducing health disparities. As an innovative care delivery model, HHC substitutes traditional inpatient hospital care with hospital care at home for older patients with certain conditions. Studies have shown evidence of reduced cost of care, improved patient satisfaction, and enhanced quality and safety of care for patients treated through this model. The steady growth in Medicare Advantage enrollment and the expansion in 2020 of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospitals Without Walls program to include acute hospital care at home creates an opportunity for hospitals to implement such programs and be financially rewarded for reducing costs. Capacity constraints exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic suggest that now is the ideal time for healthcare leaders to test and advance the concept of HHC in their communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Care Nursing/economics , Critical Care Nursing/standards , Healthcare Disparities/standards , Home Care Services/economics , Home Care Services/standards , Quality of Health Care/standards , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Home Care Services/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction/statistics & numerical data , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Quality of Health Care/economics , Quality of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
5.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257270, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The prominence of telemental health, including providing care by video call and telephone, has greatly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are clear variations in uptake and acceptability, and concerns that digital exclusion may exacerbate previous inequalities in access to good quality care. Greater understanding is needed of how service users experience telemental health, and what determines whether they engage and find it acceptable. METHODS: We conducted a collaborative framework analysis of data from semi-structured interviews with a sample of people already experiencing mental health problems prior to the pandemic. Data relevant to participants' experiences and views regarding telemental health during the pandemic were identified and extracted. Data collection and analysis used a participatory, coproduction approach where researchers with relevant lived experience, contributed to all stages of data collection, analysis and interpretation of findings alongside clinical and academic researchers. FINDINGS: The experiences and preferences regarding telemental health care of the forty-four participants were dynamic and varied across time and settings, as well as between individuals. Participants' preferences were shaped by reasons for contacting services, their relationship with care providers, and both parties' access to technology and their individual preferences. While face-to-face care tended to be the preferred option, participants identified benefits of remote care including making care more accessible for some populations and improved efficiency for functional appointments such as prescription reviews. Participants highlighted important challenges related to safety and privacy in online settings, and gave examples of good remote care strategies they had experienced, including services scheduling regular phone calls and developing guidelines about how to access remote care tools. DISCUSSION: Participants in our study have highlighted advantages of telemental health care, as well as significant limitations that risk hindering mental health support and exacerbate inequalities in access to services. Some of these limitations are seen as potentially removable, for example through staff training or better digital access for staff or service users. Others indicate a need to maintain traditional face-to-face contact at least for some appointments. There is a clear need for care to be flexible and individualised to service user circumstances and preferences. Further research is needed on ways of minimising digital exclusion and of supporting staff in making effective and collaborative use of relevant technologies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Female , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Mental Health/standards , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Quality of Health Care/standards , Quality of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/methods , Young Adult
7.
Stroke ; 52(6): 2125-2133, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352602

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has potentially caused indirect harm to patients with other conditions via reduced access to health care services. We aimed to describe the impact of the initial wave of the pandemic on admissions, care quality, and outcomes in patients with acute stroke in the United Kingdom. METHODS: Registry-based cohort study of patients with acute stroke admitted to hospital in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland between October 1, 2019, and April 30, 2020, and equivalent periods in the 3 prior years. RESULTS: One hundred fourteen hospitals provided data for a study cohort of 184 017 patients. During the lockdown period (March 23 to April 30), there was a 12% reduction (6923 versus 7902) in the number of admissions compared with the same period in the 3 previous years. Admissions fell more for ischemic than hemorrhagic stroke, for older patients, and for patients with less severe strokes. Quality of care was preserved for all measures and in some domains improved during lockdown (direct access to stroke unit care, 1-hour brain imaging, and swallow screening). Although there was no change in the proportion of patients discharged with good outcome (modified Rankin Scale score, ≤2; 48% versus 48%), 7-day inpatient case fatality increased from 6.9% to 9.4% (P<0.001) and was 22.0% in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (adjusted rate ratio, 1.41 [1.11-1.80]). CONCLUSIONS: Assuming that the true incidence of acute stroke did not change markedly during the pandemic, hospital avoidance may have created a cohort of untreated stroke patients at risk of poorer outcomes or recurrent events. Unanticipated improvements in stroke care quality should be used as an opportunity for quality improvement and to learn about how to develop resilient health care systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Quality of Health Care/standards , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Quality of Health Care/trends , Registries , United Kingdom/epidemiology
10.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e75, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147817

ABSTRACT

We investigated whether countries with higher coverage of childhood live vaccines [BCG or measles-containing-vaccine (MCV)] have reduced risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related mortality, while accounting for known systems differences between countries. In this ecological study of 140 countries using publicly available national-level data, higher vaccine coverage, representing estimated proportion of people vaccinated during the last 14 years, was associated with lower COVID-19 deaths. The associations attenuated for both vaccine variables, and MCV coverage became no longer significant once adjusted for published estimates of the Healthcare access and quality index (HAQI), a validated summary score of healthcare quality indicators. The magnitude of association between BCG coverage and COVID-19 death rate varied according to HAQI, and MCV coverage had little effect on the association between BCG and COVID-19 deaths. While there are associations between live vaccine coverage and COVID-19 outcomes, the vaccine coverage variables themselves were strongly correlated with COVID-19 testing rate, HAQI and life expectancy. This suggests that the population-level associations may be further confounded by differences in structural health systems and policies. Cluster randomised studies of booster vaccines would be ideal to evaluate the efficacy of trained immunity in preventing COVID-19 infections and mortality in vaccinated populations and on community transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Innate/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , BCG Vaccine/administration & dosage , BCG Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunization, Secondary/standards , Immunization, Secondary/statistics & numerical data , Linear Models , Measles Vaccine/administration & dosage , Measles Vaccine/immunology , Quality of Health Care/standards , Quality of Health Care/statistics & numerical data
13.
Am J Nurs ; 121(3): 72, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099632

ABSTRACT

A medical mission volunteer bears witness to nightmarish inequalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/nursing , Skilled Nursing Facilities/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Facility Closure , Humans , Pandemics , Quality of Health Care/standards , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Prev Med Public Health ; 54(1): 8-16, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1097326

ABSTRACT

This article aims to introduce the inception and operation of the COVID-19 International Collaborative Research Project, the world's first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) open data project for research, along with its dataset and research method, and to discuss relevant considerations for collaborative research using nationwide real-world data (RWD). COVID-19 has spread across the world since early 2020, becoming a serious global health threat to life, safety, and social and economic activities. However, insufficient RWD from patients was available to help clinicians efficiently diagnose and treat patients with COVID-19, or to provide necessary information to the government for policy-making. Countries that saw a rapid surge of infections had to focus on leveraging medical professionals to treat patients, and the circumstances made it even more difficult to promptly use COVID-19 RWD. Against this backdrop, the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) of Korea decided to open its COVID-19 RWD collected through Korea's universal health insurance program, under the title of the COVID-19 International Collaborative Research Project. The dataset, consisting of 476 508 claim statements from 234 427 patients (7590 confirmed cases) and 18 691 318 claim statements of the same patients for the previous 3 years, was established and hosted on HIRA's in-house server. Researchers who applied to participate in the project uploaded analysis code on the platform prepared by HIRA, and HIRA conducted the analysis and provided outcome values. As of November 2020, analyses have been completed for 129 research projects, which have been published or are in the process of being published in prestigious journals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Insurance Carriers/statistics & numerical data , Internationality , COVID-19/transmission , Databases, Factual/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Outcome Assessment, Health Care/standards , Outcome Assessment, Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Quality of Health Care/standards , Quality of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Republic of Korea
15.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 46, 2021 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1097191

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following the initial identification of the 2019 coronavirus disease (covid-19), the subsequent months saw substantial increases in published biomedical research. Concerns have been raised in both scientific and lay press around the quality of some of this research. We assessed clinical research from major clinical journals, comparing methodological and reporting quality of covid-19 papers published in the first wave (here defined as December 2019 to May 2020 inclusive) of the viral pandemic with non-covid papers published at the same time. METHODS: We reviewed research publications (print and online) from The BMJ, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), The Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicine, from first publication of a covid-19 research paper (February 2020) to May 2020 inclusive. Paired reviewers were randomly allocated to extract data on methodological quality (risk of bias) and reporting quality (adherence to reporting guidance) from each paper using validated assessment tools. A random 10% of papers were assessed by a third, independent rater. Overall methodological quality for each paper was rated high, low or unclear. Reporting quality was described as percentage of total items reported. RESULTS: From 168 research papers, 165 were eligible, including 54 (33%) papers with a covid-19 focus. For methodological quality, 18 (33%) covid-19 papers and 83 (73%) non-covid papers were rated as low risk of bias, OR 6.32 (95%CI 2.85 to 14.00). The difference in quality was maintained after adjusting for publication date, results, funding, study design, journal and raters (OR 6.09 (95%CI 2.09 to 17.72)). For reporting quality, adherence to reporting guidelines was poorer for covid-19 papers, mean percentage of total items reported 72% (95%CI:66 to 77) for covid-19 papers and 84% (95%CI:81 to 87) for non-covid. CONCLUSIONS: Across various measures, we have demonstrated that covid-19 research from the first wave of the pandemic was potentially of lower quality than contemporaneous non-covid research. While some differences may be an inevitable consequence of conducting research during a viral pandemic, poor reporting should not be accepted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Periodicals as Topic/standards , Quality of Health Care/standards , Biomedical Research , Humans , Research Design/standards , Research Report
16.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 69(4): 850-860, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084099

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Regulatory oversight has been a central strategy to assure nursing home quality of care for decades. In response to COVID-19, traditional elements of oversight that relate to resident care have been curtailed in favor of implementing limited infection control surveys and targeted complaint investigations. We seek to describe the state of nursing home oversight during the pandemic to facilitate a discussion of whether and how these activities should be altered going forward. DESIGN AND SETTING: In a retrospective study, we describe national oversight activities in January-June 2020 and compare these activities to the same time period from 2019. We also examine state-level oversight activities during the peak months of the pandemic. PARTICIPANTS: United States nursing homes. DATA: Publicly available Quality, Certification, and Oversight Reports (QCOR) data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). MEASUREMENTS: Number of standard, complaint, and onsite infection surveys, number of deficiencies from standard and complaint surveys, number of citations by deficiency tag, and number and amount of civil monetary penalties. RESULTS: The number of standard and complaint surveys declined considerably in the second quarter of 2020 relative to the same time frame in 2019. Deficiency citations generally decreased to near zero by April 2020 with the exception of infection prevention and control deficiencies and citations for failure to report COVID-19 data to the national health safety network. Related enforcement actions were down considerably in 2020, relative to 2019. CONCLUSION: In the months since COVID-19 first impacted nursing homes, regulatory oversight efforts have fallen off considerably. While CMS implemented universal infection control surveys and targeted complaint investigations, other routine aspects of oversight dropped in light of justifiable limits on nursing home entry. Going forward, we must develop policies that allow regulators to balance the demands of the pandemic while fulfilling their responsibilities effectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S./statistics & numerical data , Infection Control , Mandatory Reporting , Nursing Homes/statistics & numerical data , Quality of Health Care/standards , Aged , Certification/standards , Female , Government Regulation , Humans , Retrospective Studies , United States
20.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 40(1): 146-155, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007110

ABSTRACT

Medicare's Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing Program, which awards value-based incentive payments based on hospital readmissions, distributed its first two rounds of incentives during fiscal years 2019 and 2020. Incentive payments were based on achievement or improvement scores-whichever was better. Incentive payments were as low as -2.0 percent in both program years and as high as +1.6 percent in FY 2019 and +3.1 percent in FY 2020. In FY 2019, 26 percent of facilities earned positive incentives and 72 percent earned negative incentives, compared with 19 percent positive and 65 percent negative incentives in FY 2020. Larger, rural, and not-for-profit facilities were more likely to earn positive incentives, as were those with the highest registered nurse staffing levels. Although these findings indicate the potential to reward high-quality care at skilled nursing facilities, intended and unintended outcomes of this new value-based purchasing program should be monitored closely for possible program refinements, particularly in light of the disproportionate impacts of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on nursing facilities.


Subject(s)
Medicare , Motivation , Patient Readmission/statistics & numerical data , Skilled Nursing Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Value-Based Purchasing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Humans , Medicare/economics , Medicare/statistics & numerical data , Quality of Health Care/standards , Skilled Nursing Facilities/economics , United States
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