For a study, researchers sought to quantify the influence of a specialized COVID-19 clinic with a remote patient monitoring program integrated into an academic medical facility on the use of acute care and to investigate further these statistics in light of stakeholder perceptions of the clinic’s efficacy and acceptability. A retrospective cohort was created from enrolled and unenrolled ambulatory individuals who tested positive in May through September 2020 and were matched on age, the presence of comorbidities, and other characteristics. Key themes were found using an inductive-deductive analysis of qualitative semi-structured interviews with patients, frontline clinicians, and administrators. As a result of a higher admittance rate following emergency department (ED) events among the enrolled vs. unenrolled (46% vs. 25%, respectively, P=.32), enrolled patients were more likely to be hospitalized than unenrolled patients (N=11/137 in enrolled vs. 2/126 unenrolled, P=.02). An extensive stakeholder belief in the clinic’s support of appropriate care escalation was demonstrated through 38 qualitative interviews performed between June and October 2020. Contrary to expectations, the clinic did not affect the number of patients who presented to the emergency department (ED) but was not admitted (N=10/137 enrolled vs. 8/126 unenrolled, P=.76). Following an initial lockout, administrators and doctors discussed the clinic’s crucial role in enabling the restoration of health services in other parts of the healthcare system. A higher level of outpatient observation through a specialist COVID-19 clinic and a remote patient monitoring program may have led to an increase in the appropriate use of acute care, according to discussions with several stakeholders and data on acute care utilization. The clinic’s involvement in ensuring the safe reopening of health services across the system was acknowledged as a significant, if unquantified, value.

Source: bmcprimcare.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12875-022-01734-7