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1.
Am J Nurs ; 121(11): 10, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506395
2.
Nurs Adm Q ; 45(4): 311-323, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381061

ABSTRACT

The promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in nursing is a topic of renewed importance, given the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd and identified disparities in health and health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its progress, the nursing profession continues to struggle with recruiting and retaining a workforce that represents the cultural diversity of the patient population. The authors completed a review of the literature on DEI in nursing and found a scarcity of studies, and that a limitation exists due to the strength of the evidence examined. This article aims to provide a review of the literature on DEI in nursing, outcomes and strategies associated with organizational DEI efforts, and knowledge on how the American Nurses Credentialing Center Pathway to Excellence® Designation Program framework supports DEI initiatives. The authors further provided recommendations for nurse leaders and a checklist of proposed questions for assessing commitment, culture, and structural empowerment initiatives toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.


Subject(s)
Cultural Diversity , Health Equity , Leadership , Nursing/standards , Social Inclusion , COVID-19/epidemiology , Empowerment , Humans , Organizational Culture , Pandemics , Racism/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Workforce/organization & administration
3.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0255680, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341508

ABSTRACT

New emerging infectious diseases are identified every year, a subset of which become global pandemics like COVID-19. In the case of COVID-19, many governments have responded to the ongoing pandemic by imposing social policies that restrict contacts outside of the home, resulting in a large fraction of the workforce either working from home or not working. To ensure essential services, however, a substantial number of workers are not subject to these limitations, and maintain many of their pre-intervention contacts. To explore how contacts among such "essential" workers, and between essential workers and the rest of the population, impact disease risk and the effectiveness of pandemic control, we evaluated several mathematical models of essential worker contacts within a standard epidemiology framework. The models were designed to correspond to key characteristics of cashiers, factory employees, and healthcare workers. We find in all three models that essential workers are at substantially elevated risk of infection compared to the rest of the population, as has been documented, and that increasing the numbers of essential workers necessitates the imposition of more stringent controls on contacts among the rest of the population to manage the pandemic. Importantly, however, different archetypes of essential workers differ in both their individual probability of infection and impact on the broader pandemic dynamics, highlighting the need to understand and target intervention for the specific risks faced by different groups of essential workers. These findings, especially in light of the massive human costs of the current COVID-19 pandemic, indicate that contingency plans for future epidemics should account for the impacts of essential workers on disease spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Infection Control , Physical Distancing , Workforce , COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemics/prevention & control , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Models, Statistical , New York City/epidemiology , Occupations/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Workforce/organization & administration , Workforce/statistics & numerical data
4.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 77(19): 1598-1605, 2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317904

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To describe our medical center's pharmacy services preparedness process and offer guidance to assist other institutions in preparing for surges of critically ill patients such as those experienced during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. SUMMARY: The leadership of a department of pharmacy at an urban medical center in the US epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic proactively created a pharmacy action plan in anticipation of a surge in admissions of critically ill patients with COVID-19. It was essential to create guidance documents outlining workflow, provide comprehensive staff education, and repurpose non-intensive care unit (ICU)-trained clinical pharmacotherapy specialists to work in ICUs. Teamwork was crucial to ensure staff safety, develop complete scheduling, maintain adequate drug inventory and sterile compounding, optimize the electronic health record and automated dispensing cabinets to help ensure appropriate prescribing and effective management of medication supplies, and streamline the pharmacy workflow to ensure that all patients received pharmacotherapeutic regimens in a timely fashion. CONCLUSION: Each hospital should view the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to internally review and enhance workflow processes, initiatives that can continue even after the resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Medication Therapy Management/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Academic Medical Centers/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals, Urban/organization & administration , Hospitals, Urban/standards , Humans , Leadership , New York/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/organization & administration , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/standards , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Workflow , Workforce/organization & administration , Workforce/standards
6.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 77(18): 1510-1515, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317902

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To describe our hospital pharmacy department's preparation for an influx of critically ill patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and offer guidance on clinical pharmacy services preparedness for similar crisis situations. SUMMARY: Personnel within the department of pharmacy at a medical center at the US epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic proactively prepared a staffing and pharmacotherapeutic action plan in anticipation of an expected surge in admissions of critically ill patients with COVID-19 and expansion of acute care and intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. Guidance documents focusing on supportive care and pharmacotherapeutic treatment options were developed. Repurposing of non-ICU-trained clinical pharmacotherapy specialists to work collaboratively with clinician teams in ICUs was quickly implemented; staff were prepared for these duties through use of shared tools to facilitate education and practice standardization. CONCLUSION: As challenges were encountered at the initial peak of the pandemic, interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork was crucial to ensure that all patients were proactively assessed and that their respective pharmacotherapeutic regimens were optimized.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Medication Therapy Management/standards , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care/organization & administration , Critical Care/standards , Critical Illness , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Disaster Planning/standards , Emergencies , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/standards , Medication Therapy Management/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Patient Care Team/standards , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Professional Role , Workforce/organization & administration , Workforce/standards
7.
Sci Prog ; 104(2): 368504211023282, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1277842

ABSTRACT

The surgical theatre is associated with the highest mortality rates since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are neglected human resources for health in regards to both professional development and research for patient safety; even though they are key practitioners with respect to infection control during surgeries. Therefore, this study aims to describe challenges faced by ODPs during the pandemic. The secondary aim is to use empirical evidence to inform the public health sector management about both ODP professional development and improvement in surgical procedures, with a specific focus on pandemics. A qualitative study has been conducted. Data collection was based on an interview guide with open-ended questions. Interviews with 39 ODPs in public sector teaching hospitals of Pakistan who have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic were part of the analysis. Content analysis was used to generate themes. Ten themes related to challenges faced by ODPs in delivering services during the pandemic for securing patient safety were identified: (i) Disparity in training for prevention of COVID-19; (ii) Shortcomings in COVID-19 testing; (iii) Supply shortages of personal protective equipment; (iv) Challenges in maintaining physical distance and prevention protocols; (v) Human resource shortages and role burden; (vi) Problems with hospital administration; (vii) Exclusion and hierarchy; (viii) Teamwork limitations and other communication issues; (ix) Error Management; and (x) Anxiety and fear. The public health sector, in Pakistan and other developing regions, needs to invest in the professional development of ODPs and improve resources and structures for surgical procedures, during pandemics and otherwise.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pandemics , Surgeons/organization & administration , Surgery Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Adult , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pakistan/epidemiology , Personal Protective Equipment/ethics , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surgeons/psychology , Surgical Procedures, Operative/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workforce/organization & administration
8.
Am J Phys Med Rehabil ; 100(7): 712-717, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270769

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The field of physical medicine and rehabilitation should strive for a physician workforce that is ethnically/racially, sex, and ability diverse. Considering the recent realities of disparities in health outcomes related to COVID-19 and in racial injustice in the United States, we are called to be champions for antiracism and equity. The specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation should be the leaders in fostering a culture of inclusion and pay special attention to the population of applicants who are underrepresented in medicine. The specialty needs tools to start addressing these disparities. This article aims to provide strategic and intentional evidence-based recommendations for programs to follow. Holistic review, implicit bias training, structured interviews, and targeted outreach for those underrepresented in medicine are some of the tools that will help students enter and become successful in our specialty. Furthermore, this article provides novel guidance and considerations for virtual interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Cultural Diversity , Disabled Persons , Education, Medical, Graduate/standards , Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine , Prejudice/prevention & control , Workforce , Humans , Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine/education , Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine/organization & administration , Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine/standards , Prejudice/ethnology , Socioeconomic Factors , United States , Workforce/organization & administration , Workforce/standards
9.
J Cancer Res Ther ; 17(2): 551-555, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268377

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) is a zoonotic viral infection that originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization shortly thereafter. This pandemic is going to have a lasting impact on the functioning of pathology laboratories due to the frequent handling of potentially infectious samples by the laboratory personnel. To deal with this unprecedented situation, various national and international guidelines have been put forward outlining the precautions to be taken during sample processing from a potentially infectious patient. Purpose: Most of these guidelines are centered around laboratories that are a part of designated COVID 19 hospitals. However, proper protocols need to be in place in all laboratories, irrespective of whether they are a part of COVID 19 hospital or not as this would greatly reduce the risk of exposure of laboratory/hospital personnel. As part of a laboratory associated with a rural cancer hospital which is not a dedicated COVID 19 hospital, we aim to present our institute's experience in handling pathology specimens during the COVID 19 era. Conclusion: We hope this will address the concerns of small to medium sized laboratories and help them build an effective strategy required for protecting the laboratory personnel from risk of exposure and also ensure smooth and optimum functioning of the laboratory services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Clinical Laboratory Services/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/standards , Clinical Laboratory Services/standards , Decontamination/methods , Decontamination/standards , Developing Countries , Disinfection/methods , Disinfection/organization & administration , Disinfection/standards , Hospitals, Rural/organization & administration , Hospitals, Rural/standards , Humans , India/epidemiology , Infection Control/standards , Medical Laboratory Personnel/organization & administration , Medical Laboratory Personnel/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Specimen Handling/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Workforce/organization & administration , Workforce/standards
10.
Crit Care Med ; 49(7): 1038-1048, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246785

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has strained many healthcare systems. In response, U.S. hospitals altered their care delivery systems, but there are few data regarding specific structural changes. Understanding these changes is important to guide interpretation of outcomes and inform pandemic preparedness. We sought to characterize emergency responses across hospitals in the United States over time and in the context of local case rates early in the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. DESIGN: We surveyed hospitals from a national acute care trials group regarding operational and structural changes made in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic from January to August 2020. We collected prepandemic characteristics and changes to hospital system, space, staffing, and equipment during the pandemic. We compared the timing of these changes with county-level coronavirus disease 2019 case rates. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: U.S. hospitals participating in the Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury Network Coronavirus Disease 2019 Observational study. Site investigators at each hospital collected local data. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Forty-five sites participated (94% response rate). System-level changes (incident command activation and elective procedure cancellation) occurred at nearly all sites, preceding rises in local case rates. The peak inpatient census during the pandemic was greater than the prior hospital bed capacity in 57% of sites with notable regional variation. Nearly half (49%) expanded ward capacity, and 63% expanded ICU capacity, with nearly all bed expansion achieved through repurposing of clinical spaces. Two-thirds of sites adapted staffing to care for patients with coronavirus disease 2019, with 48% implementing tiered staffing models, 49% adding temporary physicians, nurses, or respiratory therapists, and 30% changing the ratios of physicians or nurses to patients. CONCLUSIONS: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic prompted widespread system-level changes, but front-line clinical care varied widely according to specific hospital needs and infrastructure. Linking operational changes to care delivery processes is a necessary step to understand the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on patient outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Hospitals , Surge Capacity/organization & administration , Critical Care/organization & administration , Hospital Bed Capacity , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology , Workforce/organization & administration
11.
Acad Med ; 96(6): 859-863, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243523

ABSTRACT

PROBLEM: In accordance with guidelines from the Association of American Medical Colleges, medical schools across the United States suspended clerkships and transitioned preclinical courses online in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and health systems faced significant burdens during this time, particularly in New York City. APPROACH: Third- and fourth-year medical students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai formed the COVID-19 Student WorkForce to connect students to essential roles in the Mount Sinai Hospital System and support physicians, staff members, researchers, and hospital operations. With the administration's support, the WorkForce grew to include over 530 medical and graduate students. A methodology was developed for clinical students to receive elective credit for these volunteer activities. OUTCOMES: From March 15, 2020, to June 14, 2020, student volunteers recorded 29,602 hours (2,277 hours per week) in 7 different task forces, which operated at 7 different hospitals throughout the health system. Volunteers included students from all years of medical school as well as PhD, master's, and nursing students. The autonomous structure of the COVID-19 Student WorkForce was unique and contributed to its ability to quickly mobilize students to necessary tasks. The group leaders collaborated with other medical schools in the New York City area, sharing best practices and resources and consulting on a variety of topics. NEXT STEPS: Going forward, the COVID-19 Student WorkForce will continue to collaborate with student leaders of other institutions and prevent volunteer burnout; transition select initiatives into structured, precepted student roles for clinical education; and maintain a state of readiness in the event of a second surge of COVID-19 infections in the New York City area.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Civil Defense/organization & administration , Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Workforce/organization & administration , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Clerkship/legislation & jurisprudence , Clinical Clerkship/methods , Education, Distance/legislation & jurisprudence , Education, Distance/methods , Guidelines as Topic , Health Resources , Hospitals , Humans , Medical Staff, Hospital/organization & administration , Medical Staff, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , New York City/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Schools, Medical/organization & administration , Students, Medical/psychology , Volunteers
12.
Rural Remote Health ; 21(2): 6256, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171391

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: The COVID-19 outbreak at the North West Regional Hospital (NWRH) site in Tasmania, Australia in April 2020 was both rapid and tragic. Within 10 days of identification of the first healthcare worker infection, both hospitals had closed, and all patients were discharged or decanted to other facilities within the state. The entire hospital staff (approximately 1300 people) and their households (approximately 3000-4000 people) were furloughed for 14 days to halt the spread of infection. During the furlough period, a decommissioning, terminal clean and recommissioning process was undertaken alongside recovery and reorientation of the workforce to personal protective equipment. Within 4 days of closure, an Australian Defence Force and Australian Medical Assistance Team team opened the prioritised emergency department to provide emergency care for the local community, supported by modified diagnostic services. The decommissioning and cleaning rolled on over the ensuing month, in a predetermined priority order. As staff returned from quarantine, they recommissioned their clinical areas. The final ward, a modified medical isolation wing, reopened on day 29. ISSUE: Disaster management activities may be grouped under four main headings: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. There are many opportunities for improvement and learning, and this article focuses on the local response and recovery, describing the process undertaken from the perspective of a small management group. Authors CC, HE, TB and MW were on the ground during the decommissioning process, then managed aspects of the cleaning and recommissioning remotely from furlough. Authors TA and TC provided specialist IPC support and developed education remotely. LESSONS LEARNED: Almost 2 months on, no new COVID-19 infections had been reported. The aim of this article is to provide a foundation for site-specific adaptation to include in pandemic escalation plans in other regional and rural settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/organization & administration , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pandemics , Quarantine/methods , Workforce/organization & administration , Humans , Tasmania/epidemiology
14.
Med Care ; 59(4): 283-287, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127404

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While optimal utilization of the nurse practitioner (NP) workforce is an increasingly popular proposal to alleviate the growing primary care shortage, federal, state, and organizational scope of practice policies inhibit NPs from practicing to the full extent of their license and training. In March of 2020, NP state-specific supervisory requirements were temporarily waived to meet the demands of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Massachusetts. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine the impact of temporarily waived state practice restrictions on NP perception of care delivery during the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts. RESEARCH DESIGN: Mixed methods descriptive analysis of a web-based survey of Massachusetts NPs (N=391), conducted in May and June 2020. RESULTS: The vast majority (75%) of NPs believed the temporary removal of practice restriction did not perceptibly improve clinical work. Psychiatric mental health NPs were significantly more likely than other NP specialties to believe the waiver improved clinical work (odds ratio=6.68, P=0.001). NPs that experienced an increase in working hours during the pandemic surge were also more likely to report a positive effect of the waiver (odds ratio=2.56, P=0.000). CONCLUSIONS: Temporary removal of state-level practice barriers alone is not sufficient to achieve immediate full scope of practice for NPs. The successful implementation of modernized scope of practice laws may require a collective effort to revise organizational and payer policies accordingly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Nurse Practitioners/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Practice Patterns, Nurses'/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Certification , Health Plan Implementation , Humans , Licensure , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Nurse Practitioners/legislation & jurisprudence , Practice Patterns, Nurses'/legislation & jurisprudence , Primary Health Care/legislation & jurisprudence , Professional Autonomy , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Workforce/legislation & jurisprudence , Workforce/organization & administration
16.
Front Public Health ; 9: 574135, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1110363

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic that emerged in 2019 has inflicted numerous clinical and public health challenges worldwide. It was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization and activated response teams at almost all Malaysian healthcare facilities. Upon activation of the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Center in January 2020, the National Institutes of Health Malaysia established a COVID-19 operation room at the facility level to address the rise in COVID-19 infection cases each day. The National Institutes of Health COVID-19 operation room committee formed a workforce mobilization team for an effective and efficient mobilization system to fulfill requests received for human resource aid within the Ministry of Health Malaysia facilities. Selected personnel would be screened for health and availability before mobilization letters and logistics arrangements if necessary. The workforce from the National Institutes of Health, consisting of various job positions, were mobilized every week, with each deployment cycle lasting 2 weeks. A total of 128 personnel from the six institutes under the National Institutes of Health were mobilized: tasks included fever screening, active case detection, health management at quarantine centers, and management of dead bodies. A well-organized data management system with a centralized online system integration could allow more rapid deployment and answer some of the key questions in managing a similar pandemic in the future. With improving infected COVID-19 cases throughout the country, the National Institutes of Health COVID-19 operation room was effectively closed on June 15, 2020, following approval from the Deputy Director-General of Health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , International Cooperation , National Institutes of Health (U.S.) , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health Administration , Workforce/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disaster Planning , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
17.
J Occup Environ Med ; 62(10): e593-e597, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105014

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the strategies to monitor and expand access to care for a health system workers in the first 2 months of the COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil. METHODS: Description of the implemented strategy based on the guidelines developed to address the surveillance and care of a large health system's workforce in the COVID-19 epidemic. RESULTS: During phase 1, the surveillance strategy focused on monitoring suspected cases among employees. In phase 2, surveillance was restricted to employees with confirmed COVID-19, aiming at monitoring of symptoms and following hospitalizations. Access to care was expanded. A total of 1089 employees were diagnosed with COVID-19, 89 required hospitalizations and none had died. CONCLUSION: The strategies adopted were promptly implemented and could be adapted to the changing epidemic dynamics, allowing low rates of adverse outcomes in this high-risk population.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Occupational Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adult , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Registries , Risk Assessment , Workforce/organization & administration
19.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(Suppl): S85-S94, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099981

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak poses serious health risks, particularly for older adults and persons with underlying chronic medical conditions. Community health centers (CHCs) serve as the patient medical home for populations that are disproportionately more susceptible to COVID-19; yet, there is a lack of understanding of current efforts in place by CHCs to prepare for and respond to the pandemic. METHODS: We used a comprehensive cross-sectional survey and focus groups with health care personnel to understand the needs and current efforts in place by CHCs, and we derived themes from the focus group data. RESULTS: Survey respondents (n = 234; 19% response rate) identified COVID-19 infection prevention and control (76%), safety precautions (72%), and screening, diagnostic testing, and management of patients (66%) as major educational needs. Focus group findings (n = 39) highlighted 5 key themes relevant to readiness: leadership, resources, workforce capacity, communication, and formal policies and procedures. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated long-standing CHC capacity issues making it challenging for them to adequately respond to the outbreak. Policies promoting greater investment in CHCs may strengthen them to better meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of society, and thereby help flatten the curve.


Subject(s)
Capacity Building , Community Health Centers/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Services Needs and Demand/organization & administration , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Community Health Centers/economics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Focus Groups , Humans , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workforce/organization & administration
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