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Monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment for COVID-19 has been underutilized due to logistical challenges, lack of access and variable treatment awareness among patients and healthcare professionals. The use of telehealth during the pandemic provides an opportunity to increase access to COVID-19 care.
This is a single-center descriptive study of telehealth-based patient self-referral for mAb therapy between March 1, 2021, to October 31, 2021 at Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital (BCCFH).
Among the 1001 self-referral patients, the mean age was 47, and most were female (57%) white (66%), and had a primary care provider (62%). During the study period, self-referrals increased from 14 per month in March to 427 in October resulting in a 30-fold increase. About 57% of self-referred patients received a telehealth visit, and of those 82% of patients received mAb infusion therapy. The median time from self-referral to onsite infusion was 2 days (1-3 IQR).
Our study shows the integration of telehealth with a self-referral process improved access to mAb infusion. A high proportion of self-referrals were appropriate and led to timely treatment. This approach helped those without traditional avenues for care and avoided potential delay for patients seeking referral from their PCPs.
In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the State of Maryland established a 250-bed emergency response field hospital at the Baltimore Convention Center to support the existing health care infrastructure. To operationalize this hospital with 65 full-time equivalent clinicians in less than 4 weeks, more than 300 applications were reviewed, 186 candidates were interviewed, and 159 clinicians were credentialed and onboarded. The key steps to achieve this undertaking involved employing multidisciplinary teams with experienced personnel, mass outreach, streamlined candidate tracking, pre-interview screening, utilizing all available expertise, expedited credentialing, and focused onboarding. To ensure staff preparedness, the leadership developed innovative team models, applied principles of effective team building, and provided “just in time” training on COVID-19 and non-COVID-19-related topics to the staff. The leadership focused on staff safety and well-being, offered appropriate financial remuneration, and provided leadership opportunities that allowed retention of staff.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to addiction treatment has plummeted. At the same time, patients with opioid use disorder are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection and experience worse outcomes. The Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital (BCCFH), a state-run COVID-19 disaster hospital operated by Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical System, continues to operate 14 months into the pandemic to serve as an overflow unit for the state’s hospitals. BCCFH staff observed the demand for opioid use disorder care and developed admission criteria, a pharmacy formulary, and case management procedures to meet this need. This article describes generalized lessons from the BCCFH experience treating substance use disorder during a pandemic.
The state of Maryland identified its first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on March 5, 2020. The Baltimore Convention Center (BCCFH) quickly became a selected location to set up a 250-bed inpatient field hospital and alternate care site. In contrast to other field hospitals throughout the United States, the BCCFH remained open throughout the pandemic and took on additional COVID-19 missions, including community severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostic testing, monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-19 outpatients, and community COVID-19 vaccinations.
To prevent the spread of pathogens during operations, infection prevention and control guidelines were essential to ensure the safety of staff and patients. Through multi-agency collaboration, use of infection prevention best practices, and answering what we describe as PPE-ESP, an operational framework was established to reduce infection risks for those providing or receiving care at the BCCFH during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hospitalized patients placed in isolation due to a carrier state or infection with resistant or highly communicable organisms report higher rates of anxiety and loneliness and have fewer physician encounters, room entries, and vital sign records. We hypothesized that isolation status might adversely impact patient experience as reported through Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys, particularly regarding communication.
Retrospective analysis of HCAHPS survey results over 5 years.
A 1,165-bed, tertiary-care, academic medical center.
Patients on any type of isolation for at least 50% of their stay were the exposure group. Those never in isolation served as controls.
Multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for age, race, gender, payer, severity of illness, length of stay and clinical service were used to examine associations between isolation status and “top-box” experience scores. Dose response to increasing percentage of days in isolation was also analyzed.
Patients in isolation reported worse experience, primarily with staff responsiveness (help toileting 63% vs 51%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.77; P = .0009) and overall care (rate hospital 80% vs 73%; aOR, 0.78; P < .0001), but they reported similar experience in other domains. No dose-response effect was observed.
Isolated patients do not report adverse experience for most aspects of provider communication regarded to be among the most important elements for safety and quality of care. However, patients in isolation had worse experiences with staff responsiveness for time-sensitive needs. The absence of a dose-response effect suggests that isolation status may be a marker for other factors, such as illness severity. Regardless, hospitals should emphasize timely staff response for this population.
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