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3.
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci ; 76(7): e268-e274, 2021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526159

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Mexico is among the countries in Latin America hit hardest by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A large proportion of older adults in Mexico have high prevalence of multimorbidity and live in poverty with limited access to health care services. These statistics are even higher among adults living in rural areas, which suggest that older adults in rural communities may be more susceptible to COVID-19. The objectives of the article were to compare clinical and demographic characteristics for people diagnosed with COVID-19 by age group, and to describe cases and mortality in rural and urban communities. METHOD: We linked publicly available data from the Mexican Ministry of Health and the Census. Municipalities were classified based on population as rural (<2,500), semirural (≥2,500 and <15,000), semiurban (≥15,000 and <100,000), and urban (≥100,000). Zero-inflated negative binomial models were performed to calculate the total number of COVID-19 cases, and deaths per 1,000,000 persons using the population of each municipality as a denominator. RESULTS: Older adults were more likely to be hospitalized and reported severe cases, with higher mortality rates. In addition, rural municipalities reported a higher number of COVID-19 cases and mortality related to COVID-19 per million than urban municipalities. The adjusted absolute difference in COVID-19 cases was 912.7 per million (95% confidence interval [CI]: 79.0-1746.4) and mortality related to COVID-19 was 390.6 per million (95% CI: 204.5-576.7). DISCUSSION: Urgent policy efforts are needed to mandate the use of face masks, encourage handwashing, and improve specialty care for Mexicans in rural areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Mexico/epidemiology , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Urban Health Services/organization & administration
5.
Nursing ; 51(9): 44-47, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462510

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Substance use treatment inequities among rural populations are well documented and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these inequalities, forcing healthcare providers to be creative in the delivery of treatment. Systematic reviews on the use of telehealth to treat patients with substance use disorder indicate that it is a promising alternative to in-person services. This article examines the evidence supporting the use of telehealth in treating patients with opioid use disorder and explores other promising options that can help overcome pandemic-related barriers to treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Opioid-Related Disorders/nursing , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Systematic Reviews as Topic , United States/epidemiology
6.
Front Health Serv Manage ; 38(1): 27-31, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455387

ABSTRACT

SUMMARY: Critical access hospitals (CAHs) serve their rural communities as the main access points and communication centers for healthcare, typically with very limited financial, staffing, and support resources. Local residents rely on their CAHs as the only providers for many miles around. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, CAH leaders had to rethink operations and priorities, both internally with staffs and externally with community leaders and organizations. Few critical care beds were available when the need was greatest. Testing was problematic, and cultural barriers complicated care. Now, as virus variants strike where vaccination numbers are low, CAH leaders remain wary of financial hits to elective procedure income, limited resources, and added stress for their staffs. Working with community service organizations and larger regional healthcare centers is a crucial strategy for CAHs as they address care delivery issues and ensure that their caregivers can do their jobs now and in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Administrators/psychology , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Adult , Animals , Attitude of Health Personnel , Female , Hospital Administration , Humans , Illinois , Leadership , Male , Middle Aged , Organizational Objectives , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Pan Afr Med J ; 39: 143, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374656

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted health systems worldwide, gravely threatening continuity of care for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly in low-resource settings. We describe our efforts to maintain the continuity of care for patients with NCDs in rural western Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic, using a five-component approach: 1) Protect: protect staff and patients; 2) Preserve: ensure medication availability and clinical services; 3) Promote: conduct health education and screenings for NCDs and COVID-19; 4) Process: collect process indicators and implement iterative quality improvement; and 5) Plan: plan for the future and ensure financial risk protection in the face of a potentially overwhelming health and economic catastrophe. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we must continue to pursue new avenues for improvement and expansion. We anticipate continuing to learn from the evolving local context and our global partners as we proceed with our efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Continuity of Patient Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Noncommunicable Diseases/therapy , Humans , Kenya , Rural Health Services/organization & administration
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4400, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319026

ABSTRACT

Rapid and widespread testing of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is essential for an effective public health response aimed at containing and mitigating the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Successful health policy implementation relies on early identification of infected individuals and extensive contact tracing. However, rural communities, where resources for testing are sparse or simply absent, face distinctive challenges to achieving this success. Accordingly, we report the development of an academic, public land grant University laboratory-based detection assay for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 in samples from various clinical specimens that can be readily deployed in areas where access to testing is limited. The test, which is a quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR)-based procedure, was validated on samples provided by the state laboratory and submitted for FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Our test exhibits comparable sensitivity and exceeds specificity and inclusivity values compared to other molecular assays. Additionally, this test can be re-configured to meet supply chain shortages, modified for scale up demands, and is amenable to several clinical specimens. Test development also involved 3D engineering critical supplies and formulating a stable collection media that allowed samples to be transported for hours over a dispersed rural region without the need for a cold-chain. These two elements that were critical when shortages impacted testing and when personnel needed to reach areas that were geographically isolated from the testing center. Overall, using a robust, easy-to-adapt methodology, we show that an academic laboratory can supplement COVID-19 testing needs and help local health departments assess and manage outbreaks. This additional testing capacity is particularly germane for smaller cities and rural regions that would otherwise be unable to meet the testing demand.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19/diagnosis , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Equipment Design , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Printing, Three-Dimensional , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling/instrumentation , Specimen Handling/methods
11.
Can J Public Health ; 112(4): 595-598, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289327

ABSTRACT

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life has become the global standard of infant feeding for its extensive benefits to maternal and infant health. Public health programs, such as the Baby-Friendly Initiative, have helped increase the national breastfeeding initiation rate to 90%. However, initiation rates in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) continue to rank the lowest in the country at 70%, with a 6-month exclusivity rate of 16%. This commentary will discuss the influence of geographical location, societal norms, and accessibility to health care services on breastfeeding in rural and remote NL communities. While the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself does not impact the mother's ability to breastfeed, the indirect impacts of COVID-19 on health care services, social isolation, and economic burden challenge breastfeeding initiation and continuation. Priority solutions will draw on capacity building by emphasizing relationships within the community to deliver innovative and appropriate support programs. Continued education with health practitioners and further research into breastfeeding barriers in rural communities is critical moving forward.


RéSUMé: L'allaitement maternel exclusif pendant les six premiers mois de la vie est devenu la norme mondiale de l'alimentation du nourrisson en raison de ses nombreux avantages pour la santé maternelle et infantile. Les programmes de santé publique, tels que le Baby Friendly Initiative, ont contribué à porter le taux national d'initiation à l'allaitement maternel à 90 %. Cependant, le taux d'initiation à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, à 70 %, se classe parmi les plus bas du pays, avec un taux d'exclusivité de 6 mois de 16 %. Ce commentaire discutera l'influence de la localisation géographique, des normes sociétales et de l'accessibilité des services de soins de santé sur l'allaitement maternel dans les communautés rurales et éloignées de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador. Bien que le virus SRAS-CoV-2 lui-même n'empêche pas l'allaitement, les impacts indirects du COVID-19 sur les services de santé, l'isolement social et le fardeau économique compliquent l'initiation et la poursuite de l'allaitement. Les solutions s'appuieront sur le renforcement des capacités en mettant l'accent sur les relations au sein de la communauté pour offrir des programmes de soutien innovants et appropriés. La formation continue des praticiens de la santé et des recherches supplémentaires sur les obstacles à l'allaitement dans les communautés rurales sont essentielles pour aller de l'avant.


Subject(s)
Breast Feeding/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mothers/psychology , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Mothers/statistics & numerical data , Newfoundland and Labrador/epidemiology
12.
Air Med J ; 40(4): 287-288, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286257

ABSTRACT

Virtually every country in the world has been affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Nepal is a landlocked country located in Southern Asia. Nepal's population has suffered greatly due to a shortage of critical care facilities, resources, and trained personnel. For appropriate care, patients need access to hospitals mostly in the centrally located capital city of Kathmandu. Unfortunately, Nepal's resources and personnel dedicated to transferring COVID-19 patients are scarce. Road and traffic infrastructure problems and mountainous terrain prevent ground ambulances from performing effectively. This, in addition to Nepal lacking national standards for prehospital care, create great challenges for transferring patients via ground emergency medical services. The concept of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) began in 2013 in Nepal. Presently, 3 hospitals, Nepal Mediciti Hospital, Hospital for Advanced Medicine and Surgery (HAMS), and Grande International Hospital, coordinate with private helicopter companies to run proper HEMS. One entity, Simrik Air, has dedicated 2 Airbus H125/AS350 helicopters for the sole purpose of transferring COVID-19 patients. HEMS effectiveness is expanding in Nepal, but much remains to be accomplished.


Subject(s)
Air Ambulances/organization & administration , COVID-19/therapy , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Air Ambulances/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Nepal/epidemiology , Rural Health Services/statistics & numerical data
13.
Med Care ; 59(Suppl 3): S259-S269, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225638

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the unique context of rural Veterans' health care needs, expansion of US Department of Veterans Affairs and Community Care programs under the MISSION Act, and the uncertainties of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is critical to understand what may support effective interorganizational care coordination for increased access to high-quality care. OBJECTIVES: We conducted a systematic review to examine the interorganizational care coordination initiatives that Veterans Affairs (VA) and community partners have pursued in caring for rural Veterans, including challenges and opportunities, organizational domains shaping care coordination, and among these, initiatives that improve or impede health care outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN: We followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to search 2 electronic databases (PubMed and Embase) for peer-reviewed articles published between January 2009 and May 2020. Building on prior research, we conducted a systematic review. RESULTS: Sixteen articles met our criteria. Each captured a unique health care focus while examining common challenges. Four organizational domains emerged: policy and administration, culture, mechanisms, and relational practices. Exemplars highlight how initiatives improve or impede rural health care delivery. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first systematic review, to our knowledge, examining interorganizational care coordination of rural Veterans by VA and Community Care programs. Results provide exemplars of interorganizational care coordination domains and program effectiveness. It suggests that partners' efforts to align their coordination domains can improve health care, with rurality serving as a critical contextual factor. Findings are important for policies, practices, and research of VA and Community Care partners committed to improving access and health care for rural Veterans.


Subject(s)
Continuity of Patient Care/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility , Quality of Health Care , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Veterans Health Services/organization & administration , Humans , Organizational Culture , Organizational Policy , Program Evaluation , United States , United States Department of Veterans Affairs/legislation & jurisprudence
14.
Bull World Health Organ ; 99(5): 388-392, 2021 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218474

ABSTRACT

PROBLEM: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted health systems worldwide and threatened the supply of essential medicines. Especially affected are vulnerable patients in low- and middle-income countries who can only afford access to public health systems. APPROACH: Soon after physical distancing and curfew orders began on 15 March 2020 in Kenya, we rapidly implemented three supply-chain strategies to ensure a continuous supply of essential medicines while minimizing patients' COVID-19 exposure risks. We redistributed central stocks of medicines to peripheral health facilities to ensure local availability for several months. We equipped smaller, remote health facilities with medicine tackle boxes. We also made deliveries of medicines to patients with difficulty reaching facilities. LOCAL SETTING: Τo implement these strategies we leveraged our 30-year partnership with local health authorities in rural western Kenya and the existing revolving fund pharmacy scheme serving 85 peripheral health centres. RELEVANT CHANGES: In April 2020, stocks of essential chronic and non-chronic disease medicines redistributed to peripheral health facilities increased to 835 140 units, as compared with 316 330 units in April 2019. We provided medicine tackle boxes to an additional 46 health facilities. Our team successfully delivered medications to 264 out of 311 patients (84.9%) with noncommunicable diseases whom we were able to reach. LESSONS LEARNT: Our revolving fund pharmacy model has ensured that patients' access to essential medicines has not been interrupted during the pandemic. Success was built on a community approach to extend pharmaceutical services, adapting our current supply-chain infrastructure and working quickly in partnership with local health authorities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Developing Countries , Drugs, Essential/supply & distribution , Pharmacies/organization & administration , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Humans , Kenya/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
J Gerontol Nurs ; 47(4): 7-12, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175623

ABSTRACT

This process evaluation of the Rural Elder Awareness of Medication Safety (REAMS) program provided identification of successful and unsuccessful elements along with barriers to and facilitators of this home-based pilot program. The REAMS program was developed to assist rural older adults aged >65 years and community health care organizations with strategies to improve health literacy related to medications. Recruitment of older adults, rurality of the program's setting, time constraints, and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic were the greatest barriers. The collaborative relationship developed with community health care partners was the greatest facilitator. This relationship promoted shared ideas and adjustments in program design to achieve the outcome goals. The lessons learned from process evaluation may benefit future researchers or community health promotion planners with designing community-based programs for older adults in rural areas. Future research should focus on expanding recruitment opportunities in acute care, primary care, and home health with the inclusion of all established health care providers in the community. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 47(4), 7-12.].


Subject(s)
Frail Elderly , Health Literacy , Home Care Services/organization & administration , Patient Education as Topic/methods , Patient Medication Knowledge , Patient Safety , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Pilot Projects , Rural Population , United States
17.
Hosp Pract (1995) ; 49(3): 151-154, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066189

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has devastated large urban areas across the country. Most rural areas have so far been able to avoid the initial surge in cases due to the low population density. However, as the pandemic advances, rural areas are at an increased risk for the second wave of the epidemic. Rural areas are especially vulnerable due to the older population, higher comorbidities, and lack of access to healthcare. This field report discusses the experiences and issues faced by the rural Appalachian community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , Appalachian Region , Humans
18.
Rural Remote Health ; 20(4): 6068, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1050807

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: Rural hospitals in the USA are often served by advanced practice nurses, due to the difficulty for such facilities to recruit physicians. In order to facilitate a full range of services for patients, some states permit advanced practice nurses to practice with full independence. However, many states limit their scopes of practice, resulting in the potential for limited healthcare access in underserved areas. The COVID-19 pandemic temporarily upended these arrangements for several states, as 17 governors quickly passed waivers and suspensions of physician oversight restrictions. ISSUES: Physician resistance is a primary hurdle for states that limit advanced practice nurse scopes of practice. Longstanding restrictions were removed, however, in a short period of time. The pandemic demonstrated that even governors with strong political disagreements agreed on one way that healthcare access could potentially be improved. LESSONS LEARNED: Despite longstanding concerns over patient safety when advanced practice nurses practice with full autonomy, governors quickly removed practice restrictions when faced with a crisis situation. Implied in such behavior are that policymakers were aware of advanced practice nurses' capabilities prior to the pandemic, but chose not to implement full practice authority, and that governors appeared to disagree as to whether to temporarily waive specific restrictions or suspend restrictions entirely, consistent with their political affiliation. We propose more research into understanding whether or not such changes should become permanent.


Subject(s)
Advanced Practice Nursing/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Nurse's Role , Nursing Staff, Hospital/legislation & jurisprudence , Practice Patterns, Nurses'/statistics & numerical data , Advanced Practice Nursing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/nursing , Health Services Accessibility/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Nursing Staff, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Physician Assistants/legislation & jurisprudence , Practice Patterns, Nurses'/legislation & jurisprudence , Rural Health Services/organization & administration
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