W.HUANG1, G.T.CHAI1, B.THONG1, M.CHAN1, B.ANG1, A.CHOW1
Tan Tock Seng Hospital1
During the early days of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Singapore, Tan Tock Seng Hospital implemented the Enhanced Pneumonia Surveillance (EPS) program enrolling all patients who were admitted from the Emergency Department (ED) with a diagnosis of pneumonia but not meeting the prevalent COVID-19 suspect case definition.
We sought to compare and contrast our hospital resource utilization of an enhanced pneumonia surveillance program for COVID-19 infection detection with a suitable comparison group.
We enrolled all patients admitted under the EPS program from TTSH’s ED from 7 February 2020 (date of EPS implementation) to 20 March 2020 (date of study ethics application) inclusive. We designated a comparison cohort over a similar duration the preceding year. Relevant demographic and clinical data were extracted from the electronic medical records.
There was 3.2 times (1295 vs. 403) higher number of patients with an admitting diagnosis of pneumonia from the Emergency Department in the EPS cohort compared to the comparison cohort. However, there was no significant difference in the median length of stay of 7 days (P=0.160). Within the EPS cohort, stroke and fluid overload also occur more frequently as alternative primary diagnoses.
Our study successfully evaluated our hospital resource utilization demanded by our EPS program in relation to an appropriate comparison group. This helps to inform strategic use of hospital resources to meet the needs of both COVID-19 related services as well as essential “peace-time” healthcare services concurrently, given the global backdrop of multiple COVID-19 waves.