Emergency and primary care collaboration during COVID-19 pandemic: A quick systematic review of reviews

J Family Med Prim Care. 2020 Aug 25;9(8):3856-3862. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_755_20. eCollection 2020 Aug.


COVID-19 is one of the deadliest viral infections to have hit the planet. There is urgent need to bridge the gaps in handling this pandemic by methodically synthesising available literature through a unique holistic perspective. A systematic review of articles regarding emergency and primary care during COVID-19 pandemic was carried out. PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were screened for articles and qualitative data across various studies were coded and thematically analyzed. Narrative synthesis was achieved by themes identified from findings of studies. Out of n = 953 articles retrieved, we identified and critically appraised n = 7 articles of which n = 5 were narrative reviews, one was systematic review and one was scoping review from researchers across ten countries. Nine overlapping themes were identified under three broad domains - clinical understanding of the disease, social aspects of the disease, and its contextual implications during pandemic. This narrative synthesis draws up a holistic picture of recent reviews on clinical and social understanding of COVID-19 as a disease and as a pandemic. The overlap among nine themes identified in this review could mean that primary care-level screening, triaging, referral, and emergency care of COVID-19 patients in the backdrop of current clinical understanding of the pandemic are all intertwined. Coping with COVID-19 co-habitation and managing undifferentiated illnesses require a syndromic approach and deft handling at grass root levels. Inclusive health policy empowering inherent holistic specialties like family medicine and emergency medicine could be the prudent way forward during this pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; Collaborative; emergency care; holistic; pandemic; primary care.

Publication types

  • Review