Most hospital care for COVID-19 patients is reserved for those with severe symptoms. The majority of outpatients, or those who travel less than 10 miles to a healthcare facility, are evaluated by general practitioners. However, there are numerous obstacles in their way when it comes to taking care of patients with COVID-19 and other conditions. To aid general practices and speed up the process of identifying patients with severe cases, researchers developed a software tool in April of 2020 called CovidCare for the structured surveillance of high-risk home-quarantined COVID-19 patients in general practice. This research provides the qualitative findings from a process evaluation study of CovidCare that employed a combination of research approaches. Between March and May of 2021, they conducted a qualitative process evaluation study in which they surveyed users of CovidCare and conducted semi-structured interviews based on the RE-AIM framework with seven general practitioners (GPs) and 12 VERAHs (medical care assistants with special training) (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, maintenance). To evaluate the efficacy of CovidCare’s application in practice, they used a deductive qualitative content analysis method based on the RE-AIM framework. When asked about their experience with CovidCare, most medical professionals said they were pleased. Facilitators for CovidCare implementation were cited, including a good orientation for the management of COVID-19 patients, especially due to a high level of uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic; the possibility to gain new knowledge; and the structured data collection. In addition, GPs’ workloads were lightened thanks to CovidCare, while some VERAHs reported increased activity because they were responsible for so much of the system’s administration. CovidCare, on the other hand, increased the VERAHs’ sense of accomplishment because their patients gave them mostly positive feedback and felt better prepared to deal with their disease. It was determined that familiarity with the program and its ease of use in daily life were major factors in its adoption. Major obstacles include a lack of time and available personnel. Participants proposed a more limited version of CovidCare, the expansion of inclusion criteria, and a patient self-management app as ways to enhance the program. General practitioners and VERAHs found value in the COVID-19 surveillance and care tool for high-risk COVID-19 patients. With the potential to strengthen the primary care system, remote health care tools like CovidCare are a viable way to keep comprehensive and continuous health care running in the event of a pandemic.

Source: bmcprimcare.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12875-022-01863-z