W.T.CHEN1, W.K. NG1, J.Y. YEO1, B.L. LIN1, K.L. TAN1, J.K.Y. YAP1
Tan Tock Seng Hospital1
The Covid-19 pandemic has imposed restrictions on community healthcare delivery. An outbreak in a major acute hospital in April 2021 resulted in a temporary stoppage of services from its Community Health Team (CHT) and called for urgent strategies to address CHT patients’ clinical needs. A review was conducted to understand the effectiveness of the patient management strategies used and the impact of the COVID-19 movement restriction.
A descriptive case review of 378 enrolled CHT patients from 1 to 14 May was done on hospital re-admission patterns. Further analysis was carried for 25 patients who were urgently referred to two home medical and home nursing organisations when CHT movement restrictions were imposed. These cases were examined on the referral reasons, issues challenging successful hands-offs, and referral outcome.
Of the 378 patients, 35 patients (9.3%) were re-admitted to hospital. 25 patients were referred for urgent service coverage to home care organisations A and B (n= 21, n=4). Majority required only home nursing (n=13) and only one patient required home medical, nursing, and therapy services. Six cases (24%) were not successfully actualised for handover because of the patient or family members’ refusal. Two patients (8%) were hospitalised before the services were rendered.
The interim patient management strategies have addressed some of the patients’ health needs and prevented health deterioration during CHT movement restriction, albeit limitations. With the sporadic closure of community health services during COVID-19 pandemic, contingency plans must be in place to ensure prompt and smooth activation when required.