Systems Analysis of a Dedicated Ambulatory Respiratory Unit for Seeing and Ensuring Follow-up of Patients With COVID-19 Symptoms

J Ambul Care Manage. 2021 Oct-Dec 01;44(4):293-303. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000390.

Abstract

COVID-19 necessitated significant care redesign, including new ambulatory workflows to handle surge volumes, protect patients and staff, and ensure timely reliable care. Opportunities also exist to harvest lessons from workflow innovations to benefit routine care. We describe a dedicated COVID-19 ambulatory unit for closing testing and follow-up loops characterized by standardized workflows and electronic communication, documentation, and order placement. More than 85% of follow-ups were completed within 24 hours, with no observed staff, nor patient infections associated with unit operations. Identified issues include role confusion, staffing and gatekeeping bottlenecks, and patient reluctance to visit in person or discuss concerns with phone screeners.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / organization & administration*
  • Boston / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Respiratory Care Units / organization & administration*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Systems Analysis
  • Workflow