REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0459.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: healthcare; digital healthcare; healthcare technology
Online: 9 October 2023 (08:58:09 CEST)
Healthcare sector is a truly dynamic and multidisciplinary system. Progressive practice of computational technologies in healthcare has enhanced electronic therapeutic measures in the care units. The healthcare decision-makers are accenting on the operational usage of digital technology in the system, to improve the health service by reducing human error and excessive load also by increasing possibility to attend more patients simultaneously. Sophisticated medical instruments are using advanced robotics, artificial intelligence to enhance their efficacy. Virtual treatments, self-diagnostics is increasing over time with the advancement of technical support in health. Electronic Health Records (EHR) of patients has created huge medical data (clinical information), which is undoubtedly a good resource for health professionals to take critical decisions and implement them accordingly. The aim of this article is to elucidate how technological developments are associated with clinical improvements in terms of constructing an upgraded health ecosystem. It is imperative to analyze how recent digital paradigms in health are helping to tackle regular and rare clinical challenges.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1693.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: healthcare management; healthcare challenges; healthcare advancements
Online: 26 September 2023 (04:59:57 CEST)
Management of a healthcare unit demands high prerequisites. It is a challenging organizational job for the healthcare decision-makers or leaders to tackle biomedical threats and deliver care service to huge number of affected populations in different demographic area. Health administration take innovative strategies to provide fundamental and life-saving services to the patients, when keeping the safety of the frontline medical workers is undoubtedly a priority. COVID-19 pandemic has changed the overall functioning of the healthcare system globally with alteration in the health decision-making protocols. Through this article, I have elucidated the challenges of healthcare along with today’s managerial paradigms to tackle the problems and run the system in a regulated manner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0078.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: aging population; healthcare systems; healthcare system evaluation; chronic illness; digital healthcare; personalization; healthcare usability; healthcare satisfaction
Online: 6 April 2023 (08:48:56 CEST)
The ageing of the population is growing significantly and will challenge healthcare systems. Chronic diseases in the older population require a change in service delivery, and new technologies can be a key element in ensuring the viability and sustainability of these systems. However, the generation gap and the physical and cognitive decline commonly associated with the older generation are barriers to the transition to these models of care. Despite this, there has been a trend towards digital healthcare, which has many potential benefits for the older population. Numerous studies have assessed the acceptability of new technologies for older people in health care. These studies highlight the importance of perceived usefulness, compatibility, ease of use and personalisation of the technology. Personalisation is necessary to ensure that the system is useful for users, and different characteristics such as country of origin, gender, age or comfort with the technology should be taken into account. A person-centred approach in the development of new health technology systems is essential to ensure that applications can be better tailored to the needs of different ageing populations. Many organisations have dedicated time and resources to ensure a person-centred approach in the development of new health technology systems, and putting the individual first is the best way forward in digital health. This article presents the work carried out in this regard in the framework of the European TeNDER project together with an analysis of the results obtained in terms of satisfaction, usefulness and usability by end users.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0285.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Analysis Keywords: Blockchain; Healthcare; Privacy; Cybersecurity; Healthcare-records
Online: 21 June 2022 (05:05:50 CEST)
The emergence of blockchain know-how currently presents the opportunity for the health sector to adopt such technologies in electronic health records. Blockchain assists in maintaining and sharing the relevant medical records of the patient with the relevant group of healthcare providers and the hospital. Numerous specific applications include traceability of drug and patient monitoring or Electronic Health Records (EHR). While Blockchain assists in maintaining and sharing the relevant medical records of the patient with the relevant group of healthcare providers and the hospital, it is important to note that the moral consciousness of the healthcare professionals is the main guide of the moral consciousness is ethics. This paper presents an overview of the application of blockchain in the healthcare and medical sector, highlighting the specific challenges and concerns. The study adopted a systematic review of secondary literature in answering the research question.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1610.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: healthcare; unmet healthcare needs; economic crisis; health crisis; Greece
Online: 23 August 2023 (07:07:34 CEST)
(1) Background: The aim of this study was to identify predictors of the unmet health care needs during the financial and recent health crisis in Greece. (2) Methods: Time series analysis was performed for the years 2008 through 2022 using the Eurostat database. The dependent variable was the percentage of people who reported unmet need for medical care. Demographic, socioeconomic and health data as well as health expenditures were used as independent variables. Correlation analysis and simple linear regression models were conducted to analyze the results. (3) Results: Unmet health needs in Greece increased from the start of the crisis until 2016, as a gradual de-escalation of the crisis is observed. However, in 2019 the country recorded the second highest level of unmet needs for medical care before the health crisis. People with limitations in usual activities, those who report bad/very bad health status, unemployed and with low-income increased the likelihood of unmet needs. Health expenditures (public or private) were also significant determinants of unmet healthcare needs. (4) Conclusions: The increased unmet health needs widen inequalities in health and healthcare access. Therefore, health policy should eliminate barriers which restrict the access to health and enhance healthcare services, developing conditions for citizens' well-being.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0544.v1
Online: 31 August 2022 (10:20:23 CEST)
We performed an epi and molecular characterization of two healthcare workers MPXV occupational infection. Five days after the sampling collection, nurses developed typical MPXV infection symptoms. Infection was confirmed by qPCR and whole genome sequencing. The most likely transmission route was through contact with fomites in the patient belonging/house.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0581.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Healthcare; Internet of Things; Smart hospitals; Big data; Cloud computing; Blockchain; Electronic health records; Smart-health; IOT-Healthcare; Healthcare sensors; Remote health monitoring; Healthcare
Online: 24 May 2021 (15:10:31 CEST)
In this ‘New Normal' post-COVID-19 modern world, people's health is becoming increasingly important to track. An advanced technology that uses sensory instruments to track and record critical parameters and communicates with others is the need of the time. It's difficult to keep track of all of the medical parameters and post-operative data of people with non-communicable diseases like diabetes and heart disease on a continuous basis. The system discussed here to be designed for patients who are confined to their homes, particularly when going out and being exposed to the outer world is prohibited. This paper proposed a groundbreaking health management system based on the Internet of Things (IoT) for accessing patient medical parameters in both local and remote areas. When a person's wellbeing becomes urgent, this initiative seeks to send an emergency alert to family members or loved ones. A cloud server records data from the patient's temperature sensor and pulse sensor; the data is analyzed using support vector machine algorithms to identify irregular conditions, and an emergency message is sent to the rest of the family via a mobile application, as well as a warning message to the nearest hospital.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0035.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: healthcare; sustainability; financial performance
Online: 2 October 2023 (04:17:09 CEST)
The medical sector is of the utmost importance in every country for well-known reasons such as their economic development, national security, quality of life, and so on. Many researchers were dedicated to this topic, however, in Romania there are limited studies on this subject. One reason is that most of the businesses in this sector are individual enterprises or small family businesses. In our research paper we deploy several analysis methods to see the financial sustainability of companies operating in the medical industry. By analyzing a sample of 23931 companies and we have concluded that their performance has increase in the peak of the pandemic and that the financial stability is high. Our results are in line with other similar studies that were conducted in other regions.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0774.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; infection control; healthcare-associated infections; healthcare workers; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 29 April 2021 (11:35:40 CEST)
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of healthcare workers (HCWs) infected with COVID-19 have lost their lives worldwide. At the early stage of the epidemic, when COVID-19 was still not considered as a pandemic, a large number of Chinese HCWs were infected. Officials reported that more than 3,000 HCWs in Hubei contracted the virus at the early stage of the outbreak due to limited knowledge of the virus. Following reports of overloaded local hospitals, more than 42,000 medical staff, including those from the military, were dispatched to Hubei from across the country. At the peak of the fight, one in 10 intensive care medics in China were working in Wuhan. During fighting against COVID-19 in China, although a large number of HCWs were infected by SARS-CoV-2 in the early stages of the epidemic, the timely adoption of measures indicated that, a faster rate of diagnosis could be achieved, patients were isolated in-time, HCWs’ safety was prioritized, training on basic protective knowledge and unified management of HCWs was strengthened, and effective protective measures were implemented. This resulted in the accomplishment of zero SARS-CoV-2 infection among the 42,632 members of the national medical teams sent to Hubei, and the number of COVID-19 cases among HCWs in local hospitals also significantly decreased, thereby indicating that hospital-acquired infections of SARS-CoV-2 among HCWs are fully preventable.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: COVID-19; with- COVID-19 age; infectious disease; local healthcare projects; healthcare systems
Online: 16 September 2021 (14:59:34 CEST)
Objectives: This study aimed to analyze the awareness of local residents regarding healthcare projects and to suggest some ideas for the revision of local ones. Methods: To delve into the opinions of local residents, the author of this study created a questionnaire composed of eight questions on the general characteristics of the respondents, eight questions on satisfaction with health centers, 16 questions on the awareness of healthcare projects, and 22 questions on local healthcare. The survey was conducted for 409 residents who visited public centers in Gimcheon from 15 March to 14 April 2021. Results: Data analysis revealed the following: The proportion of local residents who use health centers was 39.1%, and those users visit health centers, on average, 3.92 times a year. Among healthcare projects, the project known by the highest proportion of people was vaccinations (84.5%), which was also the project that was most used (38.1%). Among healthcare projects needed in the with-COVID-19 age, respondents awarded the highest score to vaccinations (4.15 points on a five-point Likert scale) and the second highest score to infectious disease management (4.12). Conclusions: For healthcare projects, central and local governments should focus on activating vaccinations, solving the problem of medical accessibility through untact remote treatment and establishing national infectious disease-specializing hospitals and local infectious disease management based on such national hospitals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1747.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: healthcare; maternal health; gender disparities
Online: 26 July 2023 (05:53:51 CEST)
This article focuses on the economic dimensions of maternal health, highlighting the benefits of investing in maternal healthcare and the policy implications for sustainable development. Through a comprehensive review of the literature, the article explores the economic impact of maternal health, including its effects on human capital, productivity, and healthcare costs. It emphasizes the importance of addressing social determinants such as access to healthcare services, education, employment, income, and geographical disparities. By prioritizing maternal health, societies can unlock the economic potential of women, promote inclusive growth, and reduce gender disparities. The article discusses policy interventions, including the importance of healthcare infrastructure, financial support for maternal healthcare, and promoting gender equality. It also emphasizes the need for future research to quantify the economic benefits and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of different interventions. Overall, the article underscores the economic imperative of investing in maternal health and provides valuable insights for policymakers and researchers seeking to enhance maternal health outcomes and promote sustainable economic development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0138.v2
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: Contrastive learning; activity recognition; healthcare
Online: 9 July 2021 (15:46:05 CEST)
Human Activity Recognition (HAR) is a process to automatically detect human activities based on stream data generated from various sensors, including inertial sensors, physiological sensors, location sensors, cameras, time, and many others. Unsupervised contrastive learning has been excellent, while the contrastive loss mechanism is less studied. In this paper, we provide a temperature (τ) variance study affecting the loss of SimCLR model and ultimately full HAR evaluation results. We focus on understanding the implications of unsupervised contrastive loss in context of HAR data. In this work, also regulation of the temperature(τ) coefficient is incorporated for improving the HAR feature qualities and overall performance for downstream tasks in healthcare setting. Performance boost of 1.3% is observed in experimentation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0165.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Human Resources And Organizations Keywords: Shariah; hospital; healthcare; management; Islam
Online: 7 September 2020 (10:52:33 CEST)
The Ministry of Health evaluates hospital management in accordance with the standard of quality of service. The concept of Shariah hospitals offers management services that exceed the standard of quality of hospital care. The study aims to illustrate the concept of Shariah hospitals in Indonesia. We collect related literature from various media via online search with the keywords “Shariah hospitals,” “implementation of Shariah hospitals,” and “application of Shariah hospitals.” Main findings: The study finds that the Shariah hospitals built by the philosophy of Islam are willing to provide the best health-care services to patients. A code of conduct must be fulfilled by the hospital management in Shariah hospitals: (1) general liability, (2) obligations to society and the environment, (3) obligations to patients, (4) obligations to the leaders, staff, and employees, and (4) relationships with related institutions. The foremost challenges include the improvement of health personnel performance and the quality of services in addition to perceptions that are not inclusive of the system of Shariah hospitals. This implementation should run consistently and with the commitment of all parties. Such insight, in turn, can be counted as an input to an approach to health services, particularly in increasing the performance rates, such as hospital. This study is the first to provide new insight into discussion about shariah hospital by presenting its focuses on Islamic approaches in meeting the quality standards of health services in hospitals so as to obtain more value. However, exclusive principles—Islamization, heterogeneity, and the performance of health workers—challenge the implementation of this hospital system.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0074.v1
Online: 8 August 2016 (10:40:19 CEST)
Reflection in healthcare education is an emergent topic with many studies and reviews being published. The purpose of the present review is to map the literature in this field by performing a systematic review of reviews (umbrella review) and to explore which definitions and models are currently in use, how reflection impacts on design, evaluation and assessment and future challenges. Nineteen reviews were identified that satisfied inclusion criteria. Emerging themes were: reflection is currently portrayed as self-reflection and critical reflection with the epistemology-of-practice notion not being as much as expected in tandem with the evidence-based-medicine paradigm modern science advocates. Reflective techniques were recognised in multiple settings (e.g. summative, formative, group vs individual etc.) and have been associated with learning but assessment remains a research topic with issues of validity, reliability and replicability. Future challenges involve the epistemology of reflection in healthcare education and how to practice and assess reflection without losing its theoretical background.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2184.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: patient's mobility; beds endowment; Gandy's Nomogram; healthcare management; healthcare services; hospital rehabilitation; Italian regions
Online: 30 June 2023 (09:56:30 CEST)
Background: In a Beveridgean decentralized healthcare system, like the Italian one, where regions are responsible for their own health planning and financing, the analysis of patients’ migration appears very interesting as it has economic and social implications. The study aims to analyze both patients’ migration for hospital rehabilitation and if the beds endowment is a driver for these flows; Methods: from 2011 to 2019, admissions data were collected from the Hospital Dis-charge Cards database of the Italian Ministry of Health, population data from Italian National Institute of Statistics and data of beds endowment from the Italian Ministry of Health website. To evaluate patients’ migration, we used Gandy’s Nomogram, while to assess if beds endowments are mobility drivers, we have created two matrices, one with attraction indexes (AI) and one with escape indexes (EI). The beds endowment, for each Italian region, were correlated with AI and EI. Spearman’s test was carried out through STATA software; Results: Gandy’s Nomogram showed that only some northern regions had good hospital planning for rehabilitation. A statistically significant correlation between beds endowment and AI was found for four regions, while with EI for eight regions. Conclusions: Only some northern regions appear able to satisfy the care needs of their residents, with an attraction minus escapes positive epidemiological balance. The beds endowment seems to be a driver of Patients’ migration, mainly for escapes. Certainly, the search for mobility drivers needs further investigation given the events in Molise and Basilicata.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0236.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19 Vaccines; Vaccine Hesitancy; Healthcare workers; Vaccine acceptance; Vaccination; Vaccines; Arab Healthcare workers
Online: 9 April 2021 (08:41:36 CEST)
Background: Health Care Workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of acquiring and transmitting COVID-19 infection. Also, they present role models for communities with regards to attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination. Hence, hesitancy of HCWs towards vaccination can crucially affect the efforts aiming to contain the pandemic. Previously published studies paid little attention to HCWs in Arab countries, which has a population of over 440 million. Objectives: to assess the rates of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Arabic-speaking HCWs residing in and outside the Arab countries, and their perceived barriers towards vaccination. Methods: a cross-sectional study based on an online survey was conducted from 14-Jan 2021 to 29-Jan 2021, targeting Arabic-speaking HCWs from all around the world. Results: the survey recruited 5,708 eligible participants (55.6% males, 44.4% females, age 30.6±10 years) from 21 Arab countries (87.5%) and 54 other countries (12.5%). Our analysis shows a significant rate of vaccine hesitancy among Arabic-speaking HCWs residing in and outside Arab countries (25.8% and 32.8%, respectively). The highest rates of hesitancy were among participants from the west region of the Arab world (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria). The most cited reasons for hesitancy were concerns about side effects and distrust in vaccine expedited production and healthcare policies. Factors associated with higher hesitancy included age of 30-59, previous or current suspected or confirmed COVID-19, female gender, not knowing the vaccine type authorized in the participant’s country, and not regularly receiving the influenza vaccine. Conclusion: this is the first large-scale, multinational, post-vaccine-availability study on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among HCWs. It reveals high rates of hesitancy among Arab-speaking HCWs. Unless addressed properly, this hesitancy can impede the efforts for achieving widespread vaccination and collective immunity.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: Health economics; Healthcare finance; Financial system
Online: 30 October 2023 (10:27:36 CET)
The healthcare system is intricate and dynamic. For the purpose of organising and planning a system, where allocating funds appropriately is essential and therefore managerial skills play a critical role. A certain portion of each nation's GDP is allotted to the health sectors. Managers and decision-makers in the healthcare systems are using resources effectively, yet the quantity of funding they receive from the government or other stakeholders is insufficient sometimes. A sound understanding of both basic and advanced economics is necessary for the care management, to make cost-effective judgements in public health. Healthcare officials at all levels (regional, state, federal, or international), need to be knowledgeable about public health issues and the related modern economic climates. Business executives and healthcare managers need effective practical knowledge to handle partner-financial allocation (demand-supply chain) and handle economic volatility.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: primary healthcare; reform; family health team
Online: 27 September 2023 (05:42:25 CEST)
Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a strategic objective of the Jordanian Government and has been prioritized in its strategies and plans. However, there are several challenges affecting primary health care in Jordan and the health system in general that prevent Jordan from achieving UHC. This paper highlights the importance of team-based care in the form of Family Health Teams (FHTs) to realize Jordan’s goal of achieving UHC. FHTs are a team-based approach that brings together diverse professionals to provide a comprehensive, efficient, patient-centered primary care system that meets the changing needs of Jordan's population and refugees. However, the implementation of FHT may encounter obstacles, including individual, organizational and institutional, and external barriers. To overcome such obstacles, several actions and processes need to be taken, including political commitment and leadership, implementing good governance and policy frameworks, allocating resources and funding, multisectoral collaboration, and engagement of communities and stakeholders. The successful implementation of FHTs requires participation from government officials, parliamentarians, civil society, and influential community, religious, and business leaders. A strategic policy framework, effective oversight, coalition building, regulation, attention to system design, and accountability are also essential. In conclusion, adopting the FHT approach in Jordan's Primary Health Care system offers a promising path towards achieving UHC, improving healthcare access, quality, and efficiency while addressing the unique challenges faced by the country's healthcare system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0324.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: scabies; outbreak; prevention protocol; healthcare workers
Online: 5 May 2023 (07:49:39 CEST)
This retrospective observational study describes the results of an ad-hoc designated prevention protocol aimed at containing the spread of the scabies infestation among healthcare workers (HCWs) of a large University Hospital in Italy. The outbreak started on October 2022 and a preventive protocol was set up thanks to a multidisciplinary approach. HCWs at high scabies risk were defined as subjects working in UOs with more than five confirmed cases of scabies, close contacts of a confirmed case of scabies, or HCWs with signs and symptoms of the disease. All cases of at high scabies risk underwent a dermatological examination and the infested HCWs were suspended from work until definitive healing. Mass prophylactic treatment was established for all HCWs working in UOs with more than five confirmed cases of scabies. Until March 2023, out of 183 screening dermatological examinations, 21 (11.5%) were diagnostic for scabies. We obtain a prevalence of scabies of 2.6% (21/800) and a duration of the outbreak of 14.7 weeks. Statistical analysis shows a significant association between scabies and being a nurse and have an allergy to dust mites. We obtained a low prevalence of scabies infection, limiting the duration of the outbreak and the related economic burden.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0562.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Monkeypox vaccine; vaccine willingness; healthcare workers
Online: 29 December 2022 (14:35:18 CET)
Early experience with Covid-19 shows that vaccines can be the most effective way of preventing the spread of infection. However, vaccine hesitancy is among the most significant hurdles in preventing the spread of novel infections. Monkeypox (MPX) has already been declared a global health emergency by WHO. Thus, there is an urgent need to understand the MPX vaccine willingness in various population groups. In this cross-sectional study, an online survey was conducted among Saudi healthcare workers (HCWs) to understand the monkeypox vaccine willingness in healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia. Saudi has already confirmed multiple MPX cases, and thus it is essential to initiate timely protective measures, including vaccination. The study had 743 respondents. The study found that among Saudi HCWs, 52.7% were willing to receive the MPX vaccine. The study found that sociodemographic factors had a small impact on vaccine willingness. However, early experience with vaccination had a significant impact. Thus, more than 70% who had influenza or COVID-19 vaccine were willing to receive the MPX vaccine. Some of the most significant concerns influencing vaccine acceptability were the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Hence, it is strongly recommended to focus on disseminating information regarding the safety and efficacy of the MPX vaccine.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0293.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Austere; Healthcare; Microbiological; Military; Safety; Water
Online: 29 April 2022 (08:23:45 CEST)
(1) Background: Emergencies confront civilian and military healthcare providers with medical and hygienic challenges due to the lack of potable water. This pilot study aimed to describe the application of two different methods for microbiological monitoring of water in a harsh environment in terms of performance, ease of use, availability, and the possibility of using the results to evaluate water quality. (2) Methods: Samples from raw water, Potable water, and water for consumers were taken from two different camps with the same raw water source. The samples were analyzed by using IDEXX industry-standard methods (Colilert and Enterolert enzymatic test kits) and a combination of membrane filtration and 3M-Petrifilm. (3) Results: The IDEXX method used at the Norwegian Camp are easier to utilize and has a broader range of analyzing kits for drinking water analysis. In addition, IDEXX is better adapted to the requirements of the national legislation. However, the combination of membrane filtration followed by incubation on 3M-Petrifilm ™, as used at the Swedish camp, is a better field alternative compared to traditional bacteriology, as it eliminates the need to produce and store agar plates. (4) Conclusions: This pilot study highlights the need for adapted technical equipment and tools for internal microbiological control of water production in a harsh field environment and may facilitate the use of a relatively simple method for water control and ensure the safety of deployed staff in both civilian and military settings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0435.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Nursing Keywords: healthcare workers; Hand hygiene; Saudi Arabia
Online: 28 October 2021 (11:44:46 CEST)
Hand hygiene is among the most important factors of infection control in healthcare settings. Healthcare workers are considered the primary source of hospital acquired infection. We assessed the current state of hand hygiene knowledge, perception and practice among the healthcare workers in Qassim, Saudi Arabia. In this cross-sectional study we used the hand hygiene knowledge and perception questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization. Knowledge and perceptions were classified into good (80 – 100%), moderate (60 – 79%) and poor (<60% score). Majority of the healthcare workers had moderate knowledge (57.8%) and perception (73.4%) of hand hygiene. Males were less likely to have moderate/good knowledge compared to females (OR: 0.52, p<.05). Private healthcare workers were less likely (OR: 0.33, p<0.01) to have moderate/good perception compared to the government healthcare workers. Healthcare workers who received training on hand hygiene were 3.2 times likely (p<.05) to have good/moderate perception and 3.8 times likely (p<0.05) to routinely use alcohol-based hand-rub than the ones without such training. Physicians were 4.9 times likely (p<0.05) to routinely use alcohol-based hand-rub than the technicians. Our research highlighted gaps on hand hygiene knowledge and perception and practice among healthcare workers in Qassim and importance of training in this regard.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID19; SARS CoV2; physiotherapy; healthcare system
Online: 3 June 2021 (12:06:26 CEST)
Background: The practices of various health-care professionals have been improvised to accommodate the on-going covid-19 pandemic situation. Different guidelines have been set in place to ease the process of re-opening of non-elective healthcare services like out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Although the measures taken should be guided by evidence based information, major consensus amongst practicing therapists needs to guide the India physiotherapy clinics. Objective: To identify and present the opinions of different physiotherapists about the various strategies for re-opening the out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted. Over 169 participants were selected to participate in the survey according to the pre-decided inclusion and exclusion criteria. The data was collected and saved via google forms. Result and conclusion: A majority of respondents had a consensus over different strategies for re-opening the physiotherapy OPDs. These were regarding different measures to be adapted including modifications in the clinic infrastructure and the practice pattern. This would help in smoothly re-instating the physiotherapy services post the covid-19 lockdown.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0425.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; Machine Learning; Healthcare; Haematology
Online: 16 March 2021 (13:03:15 CET)
The rise in the volume, variety and complexity of data in healthcare has made it as a fertile-bed for Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Several types of AI are already being employed by healthcare providers and life sciences companies. The review summarises a classical machine learning cycle, different machine learning algorithms; different data analytical approaches and successful implementation in haematology. Although there are many instances where AI has been found to be great tool that can augment the clinician’s ability to provide better health outcomes, implementation factors need to be put in place to ascertain large-scale acceptance and popularity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0246.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Spatial effects; environmental pollution; healthcare services
Online: 13 January 2021 (12:48:11 CET)
With the rapid development of urbanization and industrialization in China, environmental issues have become a knotty problem, especially issues related to air, water, and solid-waste pollution. These pollutants pose threats to the health of the population and to that of communities and have a vicious influence on the healthcare system. Additionally, pollution also exhibits spill-over effects, which means that pollution in the local region could affect the healthcare services in a neighbouring region. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the relationship between pollution and healthcare. A spatial autocorrelation analysis was conducted and spatial panel econometric models were constructed to explore the characteristics of pollution and healthcare services in China and the relationship between them using data on all 31 provinces over twelve consecutive years (2006-2017). The results showed that the utilization of healthcare services and environmental pollution were not randomly distributed; unsurprisingly, air pollution and solid-waste pollution were mainly found in parts of northern China, while water pollution was highest in southern and coastal China. In addition, environmental pollution exhibited spill-over effects on healthcare services. For example, a 1% increase in solid waste in one specific geographical unit was estimated to increase the inpatient visits per capita in adjacent counties by 0.559%. Specifically, pollution showed different degrees of influence on healthcare services, which means that the impact of environmental pollution on the number of outpatient visits is greater than on the number of inpatient visits. Our results provide the government with evidence for effectively formulating and promulgating policies, especially policies aimed at tackling spill-over effects among different regions.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0485.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID-19; Healthcare; Isolation hospital; Anteroom
Online: 21 December 2020 (09:17:59 CET)
Infection control among patients is critical for diseases like COVID-19. The concentration of patients in a few facilities burdens healthcare providers and the healthcare system. This study examined the operations of an extended anteroom in a dedicated COVID-19 hospital. It presents issues to consider in the deployment and operation of an extended anteroom through discussions by expert working groups. The subjects covered included efficient space, staffing, equipment management, and education. The process involved wearing personal protective equipment (PPE; in this case, Level D), and if necessary, wearing additional powered air purification respirators (PAPR), after moving from the preparation room to the dressing room, and when entering the hospital through the entrance passage. When leaving the hospital, personnel used a mandatory exit-only passage; in the dressing room, they undressed, and then went outside, in this order. The efficient spatial composition of the anteroom facilitated entry and exit and the separation of contaminated areas and non-contaminated areas using colors and lines. It is necessary to develop operational guidelines for hospitals that treat infectious diseases and conduct research to improve care. The study indicated the need to develop educational programs and use educational simulations to address regionally spread infectious diseases
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0358.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: healthcare sector; financial performance; public hospitals
Online: 16 July 2020 (13:27:46 CEST)
Hospital indebtedness is a complex and very diverse phenomenon. Thus, the goal of this study is the comparison of the financial performance of public hospitals in accordance with their ownership and size. The results of the research lead to the conclusion that the vast majority of public hospitals are indebted, and their ownership structure does not affect their financial condition. What is more, the statistical analysis depicted that large Marshall hospitals are less indebted than poviat-commune ones. In the group of medium-size hospitals, the situation was the opposite. Moreover, the study did not confirm the significant relationship between the size or ownership and the financial status of the hospital. The analysis conducted in the article is aimed at filling in the gap in studies comparing the indebtedness between different types of public hospitals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0239.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Complementary And Alternative Medicine Keywords: acupuncture; healthcare education; healthcare legislation; non-conventional therapies; complementary and alternative medicine; CAM; Portugal; European Union
Online: 13 April 2023 (03:36:41 CEST)
Currently, some non-conventional therapies (NCT), such as acupuncture, homeopathy, osteopathy, naturopathy, herbology, and Traditional Chinese Medicine are structured and well-regulated for a market of teaching and clinical practice in Portugal, among which acupuncture has become one of the most appealing and functional branches. Through investigation of acupuncture laws, field surveys, teaching work and interviews with people from NCT field in Portugal, we showed the current acupuncture education in Portugal and found that according to the academic norms and rules of education in Portugal, there is a gradual difficulty in the progression and maintenance of the degree training dynamics, due to the lack of more tolerant transitional measures and also, a timid commitment on the part of the institutions that embark on these complementary programs. Therefore, it will be necessary to promote additional programs and measures that avoid a total emptiness of the teaching of acupuncture and at the same time losses of clinicians, competencies and quality of information that are difficult to recover. It could be very meaningful and thought-provoking to the future development and improvement of acupuncture in Portugal and in other countries that welcome acupuncture and intend to have a better legislation and application.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0279.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: global health; planetary health education; climate change; healthcare professionals; curriculum development; sustainable healthcare education; mini review
Online: 16 August 2022 (05:36:28 CEST)
The emerging concept of planetary health needs to be discussed in a more organized and sustainable way within the global public health and healthcare disciplines. Therefore, planetary health should be considered a cardinal component of the global academic framework for healthcare professionals. The availability of related curricula and courses is crucial to equip health professionals in this relatively new discipline of planetary health. In this review article, we aimed to explore published articles and online databases of courses to summarize the available planetary health education opportunities and discussions for health professionals, to identify the gaps in resource allocation and to suggest future recommendations. We observed a visible re-source inequity in global south with the lack of a universal planetary health module for healthcare professionals. Additionally, there is minimal inclusion of allied health disciplines in this learning process. We, therefore, recommend a dedicated network of motivated healthcare professionals and regional hubs with an agenda to ensure a comprehensive, uniform, and inclusive planetary health education curriculum and practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0479.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Analysis Keywords: Wearable Healthcare kit; Composite IoT sensors; Trauma Scoring; TRISS; Prediction of Survival PoS; NEWS; RTS; HL7 FHIR; SNOMED-CT; Location Aware Healthcare kit; GIS GPS Healthcare kit
Online: 28 June 2018 (15:44:00 CEST)
With the availability of wearable health monitoring sensor modules like 3-Lead Electrocardiogram (ECG), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2), Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), Hall effect sensor (for measuring Respiratory Rate), Blood Pressure and Temperature measuring and sensing elements, it has now become possible to device a composite health status monitoring kit that can measure vital signs and other physiological parameters pertaining to human health in real time. Traditionally, the physiological parameters along with vital signs related examination was possible only in a hospitalized or ambulatory environment, however due to advances in sensing and embedded system technology and miniaturization of data acquisition and processing elements health monitoring has become possible even when individuals remain engaged in their day to day activities at the convenience of space and location. The patients or individuals subject to monitoring may suffer from a traumatic experience due to their medical condition and may need emergent incidence response and the critical care team may have to prepare for the treatment only after the patient arrives, which often is too late, as in case of cardiac arrests or severe injuries. The research focused on real-time health status monitoring and trauma scoring using standard physiological parameters along with standard telemetry protocols to make the critical care team aware of an emergent situation and prepare for a medical emergency. Vital signs and physiological parameters (heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, SpO2) were measured in real time from human subjects non-invasively. In order to enable monitoring of the patients engaged in day to day activities, errors due to the motion were removed using stationary wavelet transform correction (correlation coefficient of 0.9 after correction) and signals from various sensors were denoised, filtered and were encoded in a format suitable for further data analysis. A composite sensor kit capable of monitoring vital signs and physiological parameters can be very useful in incident response when an individual undergoes a traumatic experience related to stroke, cardiac arrest, fits or even injury, as along with monitoring information the kit can calculate scores related to trauma like the Injury Severity Score (ISS), National Early Warning Signs (NEWS), Revised Trauma Score (RTS). Trauma Injury Severity Score (TRISS), Probability of Survival (Ps) score. An open access database of vital signs and physiological parameters from Physionet, MIMIC 2 Numerics (mimicdb/numerics) database was used to calculate NEWS and RTS and to generate correlation and regression models using the vital signs/physiological parameters for a clinical class of patients with respiratory failure and admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU). NEWS and RTS scores showed no significant correlation (r = 0.25, p<0.001) amongst themselves, however together NEWS and RTS showed significant correlation with Ps (blunt) (r = 0.70, p<0.001). RTS and Ps (blunt) scores showed some correlation (r = 0.63, p<0.001) and NEWS score showed significant correlation (r = 0.79, p<0.001) with Ps (blunt) scores. Furthermore, since individuals have to be monitored regardless of location, these kits have to have a built-in capability to locate the individual so that the incident response team can locate the individual based on Global Positioning System coordinates (GPS). A Quantum GIS (Geographical Information System) application using real-time GPS coordinates (OpenStreetMap coordinates) was used to calculate the shortest path using QGIS Network Analysis tool to demonstrate the calculation of shortest path and direction to locate the nearest service provider in shortest time. Along with locating the nearest healthcare service provider, it would help if the critical care team could be made aware of the physiological parameters and trauma scores using standard protocols accepted across the globe. The physiological parameters from the sensors along with the calculated trauma scores were encoded according to a standard Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine-Clinical Terms (SNOMED-CT) coding system and International Code of Diseases (ICD) codes and the trauma information was logged to Electronic Health Records (EHR) using Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR) servers. FHIR servers provided interoperable web services to log the event information in real time. It could be concluded that analytical models trained on existing datasets can help in analyzing a traumatic experience or an injury and the information can be logged using a standard telemetry protocol as a telemedicine initiative. These scores enable the healthcare service providers to estimate the extent of trauma and prepare for medical emergency procedures and find applications in general and military healthcare.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0057.v1
Subject: Engineering, Bioengineering Keywords: Sustainability; Healthcare; Additive Manufacturing; Life Cycle Assessment
Online: 1 November 2023 (13:10:11 CET)
The study conducts a comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) analysis to assess the environmental impact of two different manufacturing processes used to produce transparent dental aligners. The former method consists of thermoforming a polymeric disc over 3D printed, customized models, while the second, more innovative approach involves the direct printing of aligners using additive manufacturing (AM), specifically applying digital light processing (DLP) technology. The analysis results highlight how adopting direct printing through AM brings significant advantages in terms of environmental sustainability, thanks to the substantial reduction in raw materials and electricity consumption. These drops translate into decreased potential environmental impacts across all impact categories considered within the EF 3.1 method. Furthermore, lowering the amount of raw materials needed in the direct printing process contributes to a notable decrease in the overall volume of waste generated, emphasising the environmental benefits of this innovative technique.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0616.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: assessment; body; mass; index; women; healthcare services
Online: 10 October 2023 (10:42:35 CEST)
BACKGROUND: Body mass index (BMI) is calculated by dividing a person's height in meters by their weight in kilograms and is always expressed in kg/m2. BMI is a reliable risk indicator for various diseases that can develop due to a higher percentage of body fat. There is a possibility of developing certain medical conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems and some malignancies that increase with BMI. OBJECTIVE: This study seeks to identify the trends in the Body Mass Index (BMI) of women visiting Better Life Primary Health Care Centre in Ondo City, Ondo State, Nigeria for various healthcare services. METHODOLOGY: Seventy (70) women who participated in this study were randomly selected using systematic random sampling. Their necessary information was obtained using a prepared record sheet to collect their data. Results were analysed using SPSS version 21. RESULTS: The results show mean age of the respondents is 30.50 + 6.52921 21 (30%) were between 31 – 35 years, 21 (30%) were traders, 36 (51%) had tertiary education, 39 (55.7%) were between 151 – 160 cm in height. 32 (45.7%) were between 60 – 80 kg in weight and 30 (42.9%) had normal weight, respectively. CONCLUSION: Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation is an essential tool that can help in identifying one of the significant public health issues that leads to obesity; a predisposing factor to various medical conditions like hypertension, musculoskeletal issues, heart diseases, cancers, and lots more. It is therefore important to incorporate BMI calculation into routine checks to prevent or reduce health burdens that may arise from obesity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0369.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Security Systems Keywords: Security practice; Healthcare; Questionnaire design; Questionnaire pretesting
Online: 20 December 2022 (14:58:41 CET)
Questionnaires are useful instruments for gathering responses to specific factual questions. However, the problems of questionnaire responses impede the effective use of the questionnaire. Some of these problems including non-responses, non-completion, issues of judgement, and social desirability such as information that the respondent is not willing to disclose need to be dealt with. The situation is more compounded in a scenario where an information security practice study in a typical hospital consists of broad categories of respondents and the survey findings are to be relied on to actually address information security compliance issues. This study, therefore, shares "pitfalls" to watch when preparing a questionnaire to measure the information security practice level in a hospital which is characterized by different respondents with varying domain knowledge such as knowledge in information security, information communication technology, and that of the domain knowledge of healthcare. A synergy of a conventional pretesting method and behaviour coding were therefore used to pretest the questionnaire. Questionnaire problems including a lack of understanding of the healthcare information systems’ structure of all hospitals, unclear questions, the insignificant difference between questions, problematic questions, inadequate questions, and complex terms were among the identified pitfalls to watch. Out of a total of 118 questionnaire items that were used in the pretesting, a total of 50 questionnaire items (representing 42%) were identified to have problems after the pretesting was conducted with a total of 36 respondents in behavior coding and 21 respondents in conventional pretesting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0114.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Hematology Keywords: Blood Transfusion; Knowledge; Attitude; Practice; Healthcare Providers
Online: 8 September 2022 (03:02:03 CEST)
Introduction: Blood transfusion involves the transfer of blood from donors to patients. A blood transfusion is carried out every 2 seconds in the US. It is made up of about 29000 units of red blood cells and is transfused every day in the US. When blood transfusion is done correctly, it can result in the saving of lives and the improvement of healthcare. However, it may also lead to immediate, late, delayed, and chronic complications. No previous studies have been conducted in Qatar to address this issue. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study intended to determine the knowledge, attitude, and practice toward blood transfusion among healthcare providers at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), which is the principal healthcare provider in Qatar. Participants between 18 and 25 years of age were selected for the research study. A 10-item online questionnaire that people can fill out on their own will be used to get the data needed for the analysis and meet the study's goals. Results: the analysis has indicated that facing negative reactions after blood transfusion and being worried about getting affected by any infection have a small positive association, with the specific values coming in at r = 0.317, p = 0.000. Fever after blood transfusion and feeling like refusing blood transfusion have a significant and moderate positive correlation, with the specific values coming in at r = 0.630 and p = 0.000. Conclusion: The findings of this study have helped us figure out how healthcare providers feel, what they know, and what they do during a blood transfusion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0228.v1
Subject: Engineering, Architecture, Building And Construction Keywords: smart primary healthcare; building; Construction; South Africa
Online: 15 July 2022 (06:32:30 CEST)
Smart primary healthcare building facility services capture a new level of process and operational data through advanced monitoring, enabling experts to use the building facilities to produce significant and efficient healthcare service delivery within the individual spheres of influence. This study assessed the impact of IoT services on achieving smart primary healthcare building facilities in the rural area of South Africa to enhance primary healthcare delivery. The study identified three (3) basic constructs of IoT services that comprised the application of IoT location recognition and tracking services, the application of the IoT high-speed communication network-based services, and the application of IoT-based services. The study is quantitative, and a questionnaire was used to collect data from the project managers and healthcare practitioners working with the primary healthcare agency in South Africa. The study found a variable degree of impact between the three (3) IoT constructs and the achievement of primary healthcare building facility services in South Africa. The study recommends adopting IoT essential services for achieving smart primary healthcare building facility services in the rural areas of South Africa and other developing countries facing similar primary healthcare delivery challenges.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0247.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Safety Research Keywords: Security practice; Healthcare; Questionnaire design; Questionnaire pretesting
Online: 17 March 2022 (08:47:36 CET)
Recent reports have it that over 85\% of data breaches are still caused by the human element, of which healthcare is one of the suitable organizations mostly targeted by cybercriminals. The work of healthcare staff is often associated with high workloads, high emergency cases, and a broad range of psychological, social, and cultural factors. The significance of these factors could undermine conscious care information security (IS) practice leading to serious violations. This study comprehensively examined the correlation between the psycho-social-cultural factors, work factors with IS and privacy behaviour in a hospital that has fully adopted electronic health records (EHR) management system. The findings are to facilitate the decision-making process towards improving the cyber-security practice in healthcare. A quantitative approach was adopted where we collected responses from 212 healthcare staff through an online questionnaire survey. A broad range of constructs was selected from psychological, social, cultural perception and work factors based on earlier review work. These were therefore related to some security practices, to assess the IS knowledge, attitude and behaviour gaps among healthcare staff in a comprehensive way. From the study, IS self-reported conscious care behaviour (ISCCB) risk was relatively higher as compared to information security knowledge (ISK) risks and information security attitude (ISA) risk. Furthermore, the study revealed that work emergency has a positive correlation with ISCCB (r=1.95, p-value =0.001) risk. Conscientiousness also had positive correlation with ISCCB risk (r=0.157, p-value=0.05) however agreeableness negatively correlated with ISK risk (r=-0.166, p-value =0.05), and ISA risk (r=-0.140, p-value =0.05). Based on these findings, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation methods combined with cutting-edge technologies can be explored to discourage IS risks behaviours while enhancing conscious care security practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0487.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: adherence; healthcare providers; infant; Vitamin D; supplementation
Online: 19 April 2021 (13:25:55 CEST)
Background: To determine vitamin D supplementation frequency among infants, factors that influence adherence, and reasons for discontinuation of initiated vitamin D. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted using a questionnaire administered to the mothers via a face-to-face interview on 560 infants aged from 1 to 24 months admitted to outpatient clinics from June to December 2017. Results: A total of 351 infants were administered vitamin D, and the rate of supplementation in the first year of life was 83%, while it was only 28% between 13 and 24 months. The rate of vitamin D supplementation was higher among infants who were exclusively formula-fed (p<.05). When the data were analyzed using logistic regression analysis, only visit family physicians seems to be a statistically significant independent variable in increasing supplementation (p<.05). Compared with family refusal, the rate of discontinuation of vitamin D by the healthcare providers was higher after the first year of life (p<.05). The rates of vitamin D discontinuation by healthcare providers, especially by nurses who considered the duration of supplementation adequate, were statistically significantly higher when compared with the fontanel closure and other reasons (p<0.05). Conclusions: The rate of vitamin D supplementation was higher among families who visited family physicians, which suggests the importance of well-baby visits. Since vitamin D supplementation was less common among exclusively breastfed infants, mothers should be educated. Healthcare professionals need further education about the importance of vitamin D supplementation and indications for discontinuation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0635.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: health literacy; healthcare; disease prevention; health promotion.
Online: 25 March 2021 (15:24:34 CET)
Health literacy is an indicator of a society’s ability to make better health judgement for themselves and the people around them. This study investigates the prevalence of health literacy among Malaysian adults and provides an overall picture of the current health literacy state of the society. The study also highlights socio-demographics markers of communities with limited health literacy which may warrant future intervention. A population based self-administered survey using the Health Literacy Survey Malaysian Questionnaire18 (HLS-M-Q18) instrument was conducted as part of the National Health Morbidity Survey 2019 in Malaysia. The nationwide survey utilized two-staged stratified random sampling method. A sample of 9478 individuals aged 18 and above participated in the study. The health literacy score was divided into three levels; limited, sufficient and excellent. Findings showed that majority Malaysian population has sufficient health literacy level, albeit leaning towards the lower end of the category with an average score of 35.5. The limited health literacy groups are associated with respondents with older age, lower education level and lower household income. Overall health literacy state for Malaysia is categorized at a lower sufficient level. Health literacy improvements should focus on communities with limited health literacy level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0115.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Gender And Sexuality Studies Keywords: Disability; Caste; Intersectionality; Maternal healthcare; Utilization; Nepal
Online: 2 March 2021 (22:07:38 CET)
Background: Disability and caste are two different forms of oppression, however Dalits and people with disabilities commonly face similar types of marginalities. Dalit women with disabilities may experience double discrimination because of the intersectionality of disability and caste. This study examines whether the disability and caste identity of women together affects and compounds the utilization of maternal healthcare services. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire among a total of 354 Dalit and non-Dalit women, with and without a disability aged between 15 – 49 years. Maternal healthcare service utilization was assessed by Ante-Natal Care (ANC), health facility (HF) delivery, and Post-Natal Care (PNC) during the last pregnancy. Logistic regression was performed to detect the predictors of service utilization and identify whether disability and caste were associated with service utilization. First, disability and caste were fitted separately in models. Secondly, the intersectionality of disability and caste was tested by the inclusion of disability*caste interaction term. Finally, the confounding effect of socio-demographic factors was investigated. Results: Out of surveyed women, 73% had 4+ ANC visits, 65% had HF delivery and 29% had a PNC visit during their last pregnancy. Women with a disability had lower odds of HF delivery (OR 0.50, CI 0.30 – 0.84) and PNC (OR 0.47, CI 0.25 – 0.88) than women without a disability. Adjustment for women’s age and household wealth explained associations in HF delivery by women with disabilities. There was no association between caste and service utilization. Disability overrode caste and there was no other evidence of effect modification by women’s caste status in the utilization. However, a weak interaction effect in the utilization of ANC services was found in the caste group by their education (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.05 – 0.74). Conclusions: Disabled women – whether Dalit or non-Dalit - had lower rates of utilizing all maternal healthcare services than non-disabled women. However, Dalit women with disabilities were more likely to receive PNC than non-Dalit women with disabilities. Increasing equity in maternal healthcare service utilization requires that traditional approaches to service development and program intervention to be re-examined and more nuanced interventions considered to ensure improved access and outcome among all vulnerable groups.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0340.v1
Online: 28 June 2020 (19:20:58 CEST)
While it is not new that Nigeria is challenged by a huge infrastructure deficit, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the country’s comatose healthcare system. Given the country’s dwindling revenue, massive debt profile and the inability of the public-sector to efficiently manage public facilities in the country, this paper examines how the public-private partnership model of infrastructure procurement can be deployed as a solution for Nigeria’s healthcare crisis. In addition to the above, this paper takes a look at how a partnership with the private sector can aid Nigeria’s quest towards achieving healthcare-related Sustainable Development Goals. The paper also considers two healthcare-based projects as case studies to serve as lessons for future projects in the country. Among others, the paper recommends a holistic long-term solution for the country’s healthcare needs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0359.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: Internet of things; healthcare; ethics; data privacy
Online: 30 January 2020 (10:51:54 CET)
Implications of the novel usage adoption of the internet of things in various sectors of works and life are researched and documented at pace. This is related to the overall high rate at which new technologies are adopted in modern society. Healthcare is a vital aspect of everyday activities and as such overlaps with the increasingly important role played by use of the internet and associated technologies. The purpose of this review article is to draw attention to the potential social, ethical, legal and professional limitations to using IoT in the context of healthcare. The social and ethical aspects in particular, focus on IoT usage in care of the elderly with relevant case studies as reference.
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Lean Healthcare; DMAIC; waste reduction; efficiency; sustainability
Online: 30 December 2019 (06:53:46 CET)
With an increasing demand for quality of care and lower costs, hospitals are looking for industry-based methods to improve efficiency in their processes. This study aims to reduce waste in a public hospital in Mexico by improving the medical supply process for the operating room. To this end, a lean healthcare (LH) implementation following the DMAIC approach (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) is carried out. We analyze the value stream of the supply process, including main surgical procedures and their related medical supplies, and identify different causes of inefficiency, which are evaluated and controlled through different tools, including a value stream map, Kanban, and the 5S program. As a result, five types of waste were reduced. Over-processing requests were reduced by 15.3%, defective identification numbers were reduced by 46.5%, redundant processing was improved by 94.8%, near 2.8% of the unnecessary inventory was reduced, and transportation waste was reduced by up to 16.7%. Finally, the lead-time for the main supplies was reduced by 33 days. This work demonstrates that LH and DMAIC are effective in reducing waste and are highly conducive to improving sustainability in healthcare processes. Moreover, it provides practical insights for practitioners regarding the implementation of LH in public hospitals in developing countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0277.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Nursing Keywords: personality; burnout; engagement; Big Five; healthcare personnel
Online: 28 January 2019 (12:00:59 CET)
The burnout syndrome, which affects so many healthcare workers, has recently awakened wide interest due to the severe repercussions related to its appearance. Even though job factors are determinant to its development, not all individuals exposed to the same work conditions show burnout, which demonstrates the importance of individual variables such as personality. The purpose of this study was to determine personality characteristics of a sample of nursing professionals based on the Big Five model, and then, having determined the personality profiles, analyze the differences in burnout and engagement based on those profiles. The sample was made up of 1236 nurses. An ad hoc questionnaire was prepared to collect the sociodemographic data, and the Brief Burnout Questionnaire, the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and the Big Five Inventory-10 were used. The results showed that the existence of burnout in this group of workers, is associated negatively with extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience, and positively with the neuroticism personality trait. These personality factors showed the opposite pattern with regard to engagement. Three different personality profiles were also found in nursing personnel, in which professionals who had a profile marked by strong neuroticism and low scores on the rest of the personality traits where those who were most affected by burnout.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0136.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: blockchain; consensus; distributed systems; healthcare; systematic review.
Online: 7 September 2018 (12:55:42 CEST)
Blockchain technology enables a decentralized and distributed environment with no need for a central authority. Transactions are simultaneously secure and trustworthy due to the use of cryptographic principles. In recent years, blockchain technology has become very trendy and penetrated different domains, mostly due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies. One field where blockchain technology has tremendous potential is healthcare, due to the need for a more patient-centric approach to healthcare systems and to connect disparate systems and increase the accuracy of electronic healthcare records (EHRs). In this systematic review, an analysis of state-of-the-art blockchain research in the field of healthcare is conducted. The aim is to reveal the potential applications of the technology and to highlight the challenges and possible directions of blockchain research in healthcare. First, background information is discussed, followed by a description of the exact methodology used in this paper. Next, an analysis of the results is given, which includes a bibliometric overview, an analysis of gathered data and its properties, and the results of a literature quality assessment. Lastly, there is a discussion of the results from the analysis. The findings indicate that blockchain technology research in healthcare is increasing and it is mostly used for data sharing, managing health records and access control. Other scenarios are very rare. Most research is aimed at presenting novel structural designs in the form of frameworks, architectures or models. Findings also show that technical details about the used blockchain elements are not given in most of the analyzed publications and that most research does not present any prototype implementation or implementation details. Often even with a prototype implementation, no details about blockchain elements are given.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0486.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; mental healthcare; primary healthcare nurses; Sub-Saharan Africa; challenges; adaptation; outreach; telehealth; vaccine hesitancy; mental health awareness
Online: 7 August 2023 (05:28:56 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the mental health of individuals globally, and primary healthcare (PHC) nurses play a critical role in providing mental healthcare services. However, limited research has explored the experiences of PHC nurses in providing mental healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study explored the experiences of PHC nurses in providing mental healthcare services during the pandemic in Durban, South Africa. The aim was to identify the challenges faced by healthcare providers and the potential for innovative approaches to improve access to care. A qualitative, exploratory design guided the study, and data were collected through in-depth interviews with twelve PHC nurses purposively selected. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings from interviews with primary healthcare nurses reveal that the pandemic exacerbated existing challenges, including medication adherence issues, fear and uncertainty among patients, vaccine hesitancy, decreased clinic visits, and the mental and emotional toll on both patients and healthcare workers. PHC nurses adapted their services by increasing outreach efforts, prioritising patient care, and utilising technology and non-governmental organisations’ (NGO) support. Challenges included reduced patient visits, complexities in healthcare provision, and lack of adequate support. Positive changes observed include increased mental health awareness among healthcare professionals and younger generations. Recommendations include implementing outreach and awareness campaigns, providing accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccinations, and promoting cultural sensitivity in mental healthcare provision.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0670.v2
Subject: Engineering, Chemical Engineering Keywords: Household waste management; Recyclables; Healthcare waste; COVID-19
Online: 26 October 2023 (09:46:26 CEST)
Solid waste management is challenging in many countries, especially developing economies. The impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt and have indicated secondary impacts on waste management. This work draws on data on household solid waste (HSW), healthcare waste (HCW), and recyclables collected in the Rio de Janeiro municipality, analyzed from January 2018 to December 2022. As expected, the collection of HCW in Rio de Janeiro municipality experienced a noticeable increase in 2020 and 2021, with an average of 46.9 tons and 54.3 tons collected, respectively. Notably, 2021 saw a significant 30% increase compared to 2019 (p-value<0.001). No significant difference was observed in recyclables collected from 2018 to 2021. The average recyclable amount was 3,638 and 3,747 tons per month in 2020 and 2021. In contrast, the monthly amount was equal to 4,819.5 tons in 2022, representing an increase higher than 32% compared to previous years (p-value<0.05). Our findings can be used to adapt and improve waste systems to cope with similar emergency scenarios in the future, serving as a template for municipalities with similar challenges.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0224.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine effectiveness; healthcare workers; Georgia; delta
Online: 7 October 2023 (03:27:13 CEST)
Background Healthcare workers (HCWs) have suffered considerable morbidity and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few data on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) are available from middle-income countries in Europe. We evaluated primary series COVID-19 VE against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 among HCWs in Georgia. Methods HCWs in six hospitals in Georgia were invited to enroll in a prospective cohort study conducted during March 19–December 5, 2021. Participants completed weekly symptom questionnaires. Symptomatic HCWs were tested by RT-PCR and/or rapid antigen test (RAT), and participants were routinely tested for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR or RAT, regardless of symptoms. Serology was collected at enrolment, and quarterly thereafter, and tested by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We defined primary series vaccination as two doses of COVID-19 vaccine received ≥14 days before symptom onset. We estimated VE as (1-hazard ratio)*100 using a Cox proportional hazards model with vaccination status as a time-varying covariate. Estimates were adjusted by potential confounders that changed the VE estimate by more than 5%, according to the change-in-estimate approach. Results Overall, 1561/3849 (41%) eligible HCWs enrolled and were included in the analysis. The median age was 40 (IQR: 30-53), 1318 (84%) were female, and 1003 (64%) had laboratory evidence of prior SARS-Cov-2 infection. At enrolment, 1300 (83%) were unvaccinated; By study end, 1082 (62%) had completed a primary vaccine series (69% BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech); 22% BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm); 9% other). During the study period, 191(12%) participants had a new PCR- or RAT-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. VEa gainst PCR- or RAT- confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was 58 (95%CI: 41; 70) for all primary series vaccinations, 68% (95%CI: 51; 79) for BNT162b2, and 40% (95%CI: 1; 64) for BBIBP-CorV vaccines. Among previously infected HCWs, VE was 58% (95%CI: 11; 80). VE against medically attended COVID-19 was 52% (95%CI: 28; 68), and VE against hospitalization was 69% (95% CI: 36; 85). During the period of predominant Delta variant circulation (July-December 2021), VE against symptomatic COVID-19 was 52% (95%CI: 30; 66). Conclusions Primary series vaccination with BNT162b2 and BBIBP-CorV was effective at preventing COVID-19 among HCWs, most of whom had previous infection, during a period of mainly Delta circulation. Our results support the utility of COVID-19 primary vaccine series, and the importance of increasing coverage, even among previously infected individuals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0246.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Telemedicine; Risk Management; Healthcare; Translational Medicine; Personalized Medicine
Online: 6 October 2023 (11:46:47 CEST)
Telemedicine has been increasingly considered an effective strategy to support patients with several diagnosis and therapies, avoiding the on-site visit and drastically reducing the risks to share infections. In the recent years, a number of different technologies have been developed and applied to clinical studies, with the aim to investigate new ways for increase the early diagnoses and monitor the clinical evolution of the most predictable diseases directly from the patients’ home. Telemedicine refers to all those technological interfaces used to remotely perform clinical procedures. Telemedicine applications could be useful in several medical fields, such as preventive medicine, home patient care, education for healthcare professionals and patients, research, public health, and health management. On the other hand, the synergy of these different technologies has a significant impact on the clinical risks analysis, particularly useful in frail patients. Although Telemedicine shows to have important advantages, undoubtedly important issues still remain. The present work aims to shed light on the main advantages and disadvantages related to of each application’s features, which may serve as a useful tool for researchers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1358.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: sleep; social jetlag; healthcare workers; regularity; occupational health
Online: 20 September 2023 (04:53:38 CEST)
Healthcare workers have atypical working schedule and are exposed to experienced stress that led to poor sleep health and frequent mental complaints, particularly since the Covid-19 crisis. We conducted a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of poor sleep hygiene and mental complaints and their associations among healthcare workers. Usual sleep-wake timings were ex-plored during workdays and free days and used to compute sleep duration, sleep efficiency and social jetlag. Insomnia, sleepiness, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and fatigue were calculated using validated scales. A total of 1,562 participants were included (80.5% of women and mean age of 40.0). Among them, 25.9% slept less than 6 hours, 24.3% had a poor sleep efficiency, and 11.5% reported a social jetlag. A total of 33.9% of participants reported insomnia, 45.1% reported EDS, 13.1% reported fatigue, 16.5% reported depression and 35.7% reported anxiety. After ad-justment, sleep duration and sleep efficiency were associated with mental complaints. Social jetlag was associated with significant insomnia but not with anxiety or depression symptoms. Healthcare workers have a high prevalence of poor sleep hygiene and mental complaints. The promotion of sleep health through behavioral sleep strategies should be encouraged to ensure good health for these professionals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0652.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: antimicrobial resistance (AMR); societal implications; healthcare; global cooperation
Online: 19 September 2023 (08:22:17 CEST)
This comprehensive review examines the critical issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a growing global concern with profound societal implications. This article presents an overview of the causes of AMR, including the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in healthcare, agriculture, and veterinary practices. Various conventional and advanced detection methodologies have been explored, highlighting the importance of the accurate and timely identification of resistant strains. The challenges associated with tackling AMR, encompassing scientific, economic, and regulatory aspects have been discussed in depth. In addition, this article sheds light on the far-reaching societal implications of AMR, including increased healthcare costs, treatment complexities, and potential disruptions to healthcare systems. This emphasizes the urgency of adopting proactive strategies to combat AMR and underscores the need for global cooperation, policy interventions and public awareness campaigns. By unraveling the multifaceted dimensions of AMR, this review aims to enhance our understanding, stimulate further research, and promote concerted efforts to mitigate the threat of antimicrobial resistance.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0644.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: neglected diseases; healthcare policy; India; ontology; framework; roadmap
Online: 8 August 2023 (08:55:37 CEST)
The need for systemic healthcare policies to systematically eliminate NTDs globally and in India has been stressed for more than two decades. Yet, the present policies and the research on them do not meet the need. We present an ontological framework, a research roadmap, and a policy brief to address the gap. The ontology clearly, concisely, and comprehensively represents the combinations of diseases, the objectives regarding the diseases, the entities to address them, the outcomes sought, and the potential policy instruments to invoke. The paper explicates the state-of-the-policies and state-of-the-research on policies to eliminate NTDs in India. It highlights the significant gaps in both. Last, it presents a set of systemic policies congruent with the ontology to systematically address the gaps. The recommendations are aligned with the present research, policies, practices, and recommendations in India and of WHO, UN agencies, and other similar bodies. The approach can be generalized to provide roadmaps for other countries facing a similar challenge and for other diseases of similar complexity. The roadmaps, with continuous feedback and learning, can help navigate the challenge efficiently and effectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0485.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: Prostate Cancer, Survival, Disparities, Geographic, Multilevel, Healthcare Access
Online: 18 April 2023 (04:49:50 CEST)
Introduction Prostate Cancer (PCa) exhibits one of the widest racial and socioeconomic disparities. PCa disparities have also been widely linked to location as living in more deprived regions was associated with lower healthcare access and worse outcomes. This study aims to examine PCa survival across various US counties in function of different socioeconomic profiles and discuss the role of potential intermediary factors. Methods The SEER database linked to county-level SES was utilized. Five-year PCa-specific survival using the Kaplan Meier method was performed for 5 racial/ethnic categories in function of SES quintiles. Multilevel Cox proportional hazards regression was performed to assess the relationship between county-level SES and PCa survival. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to examine the role of healthcare utilization and severity. Results 279,000 PCa records were extracted, 5-year PCa-specific survival was 94%. Overall, living in counties with worst poverty/income quintile and highest proportions of foreign-born/language-isolated increased PCa mortality by 23% each. No association was observed with county-level High-School education, while Bachelor’s-level education decreased mortality risk by 23%. Associations varied considerably upon racial/ethnic stratification. Multilevel analyses showed varying contributions of individual and area-level factors to survival within minorities. The relationship between SES and PCa survival appeared to be influenced by healthcare utilization and disease stage/grade. Discussion Racial/ethnic categories responded differently under similar county-level SES and individual-level factors to the point where disparities reversed in Hispanics. The inclusion of Healthcare utilization and severity factors may provide partial early support for their role as intermediaries. Healthcare access (insurance) might not necessarily be associated with better PCa survival, through performing biopsy and or/surgery. County-level education plays an important role in PCa decision-making as it might elucidate discussions of other non-invasive management options. Conclusion Findings of this study demonstrate that interventions need to be tailored according to each group's needs. This potentially informs the focus of public health efforts in terms of planning and prioritizing. This study could also direct further research delving into pathways between area-level characteristics with PCa survival.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0217.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Electronic Medical Record; American Healthcare System; Unified EMR
Online: 13 March 2023 (06:14:27 CET)
Innovation development in healthcare has paved the path towards the improvement in system efficiency, patient care and cost-effective healthcare services, increasing the overall efficiency of the healthcare system in a significant manner. Electronic medical record system has fostered interoperability and collaboration in healthcare departments by enabling different systems to exchange and use patient data. This trend has been accelerated dominantly by the pandemic, leading to increased use of telemedicine, referring specifically to the use of electronic communication to provide healthcare services remotely. Moreover, an increased prevalence towards the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in healthcare has contributed effectively towards the rigorous and informed analysis of large amounts of data as well as to identify patterns or trends that may be useful for improving care delivery or identifying potential issues. A unified electronic medical record System that will generate competitive opportunities and success prospects with reference to enhanced interoperability in US healthcare departments, can contribute towards the improvement in the quality and efficiency of care by making it easier for healthcare providers to access and share patient information as well as reducing the risk of errors in effective patient care.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0356.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: machine learning; digital health; artificial intelligence; healthcare; ethics
Online: 21 February 2023 (08:58:06 CET)
An artificial intelligence (AI)-based conversational large language model (LLM) was launched in November 2022 namely, “ChatGPT”. Despite the wide array of potential applications of LLMs in healthcare education, research and practice, several valid concerns were raised. The current systematic review aimed to investigate the possible utility of ChatGPT and to highlight its limitations in healthcare education, research and practice. Using the PRIMSA guidelines, a systematic search was conducted to retrieve English records in PubMed/MEDLINE and Google Scholar under the term “ChatGPT”. Eligibility criteria included the published research or preprints of any type that discussed ChatGPT in the context of healthcare education, research and practice. A total of 280 records were identified, and following full screening, a total of 60 records were eligible for inclusion. Benefits/applications of ChatGPT were cited in 51/60 (85.0%) records with the most common being the utility in scientific writing followed by benefits in healthcare research (efficient analysis of massive datasets, code generation and rapid concise literature reviews besides utility in drug discovery and development). Benefits in healthcare practice included cost saving, documentation, personalized medicine and improved health literacy. Concerns/possible risks of ChatGPT use were expressed in 58/60 (96.7%) records with the most common being the ethical issues including the risk of bias, plagiarism, copyright issues, transparency issues, legal issues, lack of originality, incorrect responses, limited knowledge, and inaccurate citations. Despite the promising applications of ChatGPT which can result in paradigm shifts in healthcare education, research and practice, the embrace of this application should be done with extreme caution. Specific applications of ChatGPT in health education include the promising utility in personalized learning tools and shift towards more focus on critical thinking and problem-based learning. In healthcare practice, ChatGPT can be valuable for streamlining the workflow and refining personalized medicine. Saving time for the focus on experimental design and enhancing research equity and versatility are the benefits in scientific research. Regarding authorship in scientific articles, as it currently stands, ChatGPT does not qualify to be listed as an author unless the ICJME/COPE guidelines are revised and amended. An initiative involving all stakeholders involved in healthcare education, research and practice is urgently needed to set a code of ethics and conduct on the responsible practices involving ChatGPT among other LLMs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0135.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: ventilation; airflow; healthcare facilities; web of science; bibliometric
Online: 8 February 2023 (02:07:50 CET)
Over the years, researchers have been developing different ventilation strategies as a potential solution for controlling infectious airborne transmissions in healthcare facilities. The effects of ventilation systems on airflow characteristics have been extensively discussed among researchers since SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in 2019. Based on a bibliometric study of 154 publications from 1970 to 2021 retrieved from the Web of Science (WoS) database, this paper examines the research landscape on the effects of ventilation strategies on airflow analysis in healthcare facilities. Results show that China is the most productive country due to its significant contributions to the top prolific authors and funding agencies, which have promoted the research development of the topic. Several research hotspots were identified through keyword co-occurrence analysis. Cluster 1 highlights the ventilation studies involving ventilation layouts and ventilation rates in healthcare facilities. Cluster 2 underlines the computational analysis of ventilation performance for reducing the exposure risk of occupants, which promotes the development of infection control measures. Cluster 3 strengthens the knowledge of the emission and dispersion characteristics of respiratory droplets in healthcare facilities. Overall, this paper highlights the future direction of the current research field other than identifying strategic collaborators and suitable publication outlets for interested researchers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0228.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: Hospital management; Tertiary care; healthcare; Administration; Patient experience
Online: 13 December 2022 (06:45:10 CET)
Patients satisfaction with fast and high-quality services is the most important in the healthcare settings and specially in outpatient departments and private clinics. High quality services on health sector are indicated by continuous quality improvement (CQI). CQI is a progressive incremental process focused on safety of all participants, outcomes, systematic process, regulated and improved working environment at the later than earlier stages. Among the various suggested strategies, we adopted the patents feedback to improve the quality of services our clinic. All of the patient visited hospital were sent a massage on mobile and requested to provide their feedback on our services. Roughly around 5% of all visitors responded and filled up questionnaire. Majority of them were satisfied with the services in various department. However, they provided us some suggestions to identify the further gaps and improve the services in improving patients experience at our clinic. We considered their feedback, identified problems, redesigned the policies and implemented. After implementation of new strategies, we preliminary again evaluated the patients’ feedback on our services. Patients feedback explores that optimized methods of services for the has considerably increased the patients’ satisfaction. Taken together, our this shows that patients’ feedback is very important factor to improve patients’ experience at outpatient clinics using continuous quality improvement tools. For that reason, this study would serve as reference for public health stack holders, administrators and researchers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0146.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dentistry And Oral Surgery Keywords: Essential medicines; affordability; NCD prevention; oral healthcare; access
Online: 15 April 2022 (10:46:26 CEST)
Background: Fluoride toothpaste (FT) has recently been included in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines. Whereas it is essential for preventing dental caries, its current affordability around the globe remains unclear. This study aimed to analyse the affordability of FT in as many as possible countries worldwide. Methods: A standardized protocol was developed to collect country-specific information about the characteristics of the cheapest FT at a common point of purchase. 82 members of the WHO Global Oral Health Network of Chief Dental Officers (CDOs), directors of WHO Collaborative Centres and other oral health experts collected data using mobile phone technology. The Fluoride Toothpaste Affordability Ratio (FTAR) was calculated as the price associated with the recommended annual consumption of FT, relative to the daily wage of the lowest-paid unskilled government worker (FTAR >1 = unaffordable spending on fluoride toothpaste). The daily expenditure per capita of the poorest 15% of the income distrubition was used as the main proxy of the daily wage, using World Bank data. Alternatively, we used the daily minimum wage as a proxy of the daily wage. Stratified descriptive statistics were undertaken with respect to different World Bank Income Groups and WHO Regions. Results: There are significant discrepancies in the affordability of FT across 78 countries. FT was strongly affordable in high-income countries, relatively affordable in upper middle-income countries, and strongly unaffordable in lower middle-income and low-income countries. The affordability of FT across WHO Regions was dependent upon the economic mix of WHO Regions’ member states. Conclusion: FT is still unaffordable for many people, particularly in low-resource settings. Health policy members should develop better strategies to address and improve the universal affordability of FTs, for the incidence of dental caries to be reduced at a global level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0294.v1
Subject: Engineering, Bioengineering Keywords: Sensor; optoelectronics; shear; force; biomechanics; gait; wearables; healthcare
Online: 23 February 2022 (13:35:58 CET)
The need for miniaturized shear force sensors is expanding, particularly for biomedical applications. Examples include measuring interfacial shear stresses between a human and an external device (e.g., footwear or a prosthesis). However, there are considerable challenges in designing a shear sensor for these applications due to the need for a small package, low power requirements, and resistance to interference from motion artifact and electromagnetic fields. This paper presents the design, fabrication, and characterization sensor that measures two-axis shear force by detecting displacement between a color panel and a red, green, and blue light-sensing photodiode. The sensor response to applied displacements and forces was characterized under benchtop testing conditions. We also present the design of a prototype wireless version of the sensor for integration into footwear. The sensor exhibited strong agreement with gold standard measurements for two axis shear displacements (R2>0.99, RMSE≤5.0 µm) and forces (R2>0.99, RMSE≤0.94 N). This performance, along with the sensor’s scalability, miniaturized form, and low power requirements make it well-suited a variety of biomedical applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0264.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: pediatric pneumonia; hospital readmission; healthcare quality; hospital costs
Online: 18 January 2022 (16:08:11 CET)
Pneumonia is the leading cause of hospitalization in pediatric patients. Disease severity greatly influences pneumonia progression and adverse health outcomes such as hospital readmission. Hospital readmissions have become a measure of healthcare quality to reduce excess expenditures. The aim of this study was to examine 30-day all-cause readmission rates and evaluate the association between pneumonia severity and readmission among pediatric pneumonia hospitalizations. Using 2018 Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD), we conducted a cross-sectional study of pediatric hospitalizations for pneumonia. Pneumonia severity was defined by the presence of respiratory failure, sepsis, mechanical ventilation, dependence on long-term supplemental oxygen, and/or respiratory intubation. Outcomes of interest were 30-day all-cause readmission, length of stay, and cost. The rate of 30-day readmission for the total sample was 5.9%, 4.7% for non-severe pneumonia, and 8.7% for severe pneumonia (p<0.01). Among those who were readmitted, hospitalizations for severe pneumonia had a longer length of stay (6.5 vs. 5.4 days, p<0.01) and higher daily cost ($3,246 vs. $2,679, p<0.01) than admissions for non-severe pneumonia. Factors associated with 30-day readmission were pneumonia severity, immunosuppressive conditions, length of stay, and hospital case volume. To reduce potentially preventable readmissions, clinical interventions to improve the disease course and hospital system interventions are necessary.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0203.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Bigdata; IoT; Big Data Analytics; Covid-19; healthcare
Online: 8 February 2021 (12:19:28 CET)
— Big Data analytics has come a long way since its inception. This field is growing day by day. With the advent of large handling capacity of computational analysis of modern computing systems as well as Internet of Things (IoT), this field has revolutionized the way we think about data. It has influenced the major domains such as healthcare, automobile, computing, climatology, and space communications. Of late, the health care sector has been largely influenced by this. This communication deals with the areas of healthcare where big data analytics has been largely influential. Encompassing the basics of Big Data Analytics (BDA) driven by IoT, the applications of it in healthcare sector are outlined, accompanied by future expectations. Additionally, it also presents a comprehensive analysis of recent application with special reference to Covid-19 in this sector.
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Data Structures, Algorithms And Complexity Keywords: GAN; ECG; anonymization; healthcare data; sensors; data transformation
Online: 3 September 2020 (05:26:01 CEST)
In personalized healthcare, an ecosystem for the manipulation of reliable and safe private data should be orchestrated. This paper describes a first approach for the generation of fake electrocardiograms (ECGs) based on Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) with the objective of anonymizing users’ information for privacy issues. This is intended to create valuable data that can be used both, in educational and research areas, while avoiding the risk of a sensitive data leakage. As GANs are mainly exploited on images and video frames, we are proposing general raw data processing after transformation into an image, so it can be managed through a GAN, then decoded back to the original data domain. The feasibility of our transformation and processing hypothesis is primarily demonstrated. Next, from the proposed procedure, main drawbacks for each step in the procedure are addressed for the particular case of ECGs. Hence, a novel research pathway on health data anonymization using GANs is opened and further straightforward developments are expected.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0096.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: Social Distancing; Pandemics; COVID-19; Digital Healthcare; UHC
Online: 7 June 2020 (15:08:44 CEST)
COVID-19 has been a major issue in most countries throughout the world with 213 countries being affected till date due to the disease. The pandemic has raised concerns over the healthcare facilities available in various countries and question the government decisions made during this period of outbreak. Despite having the best healthcare facilities several countries across Europe and America have found it difficult to contain the disease outbreak questioning the available solutions to contain an area. This paper focuses on presenting information on solutions available to control outbreaks in order to prevent another pandemic occurring in the future. The paper also highlights the strategies and plans implemented by various governments who have been successful in combatting the disease with minimum damage. By using available resources such as technology, scientific innovation and digitalized healthcare this paper focuses on providing solutions which are already available to be utilized in the right manner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0037.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Discrete Event Simulation; Performance Analysis; WIP; Model; Healthcare
Online: 4 June 2020 (13:46:19 CEST)
This paper deals with the service performance analysis and improvement using discrete event simulation has been used. The simulation of the heath care has been done by arena master development 14-version software. The performance measurement for this study are patients output, service rate, service efficiency and it is directly related to waiting time of patients in each service station, work in progress, resource utilization.Simulation model was building for Bahir Dar clinic and then, prepared the proposed model for the system. Based on the simulation model run result, the output of the existing healthcare service system is low due to presence of bottlenecks on the service system. Moreover, the station with the largest queue and high resource utilization are identified as a bottleneck. The bottlenecks, which have identified are reduced by using reassigning the existing resources and add new resources and merging the similar services, which has under low resource utilization (nurses). Finally, the researchers have proposed a developed model from different scenarios. Moreover, the best scenario is developed by combining scenario 2 and 3. And then, service efficiency of the healthcare has increased by 9.86 percent, the work in progress (WIP) are reduced by 3 patients from the system and the service capacity of the system is increased 34 to 40 patients per day due to the reduction of bottleneck stations.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0025.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Medication adherence, definition, disorder, perspective, healthcare professional, disorder
Online: 3 June 2019 (14:11:22 CEST)
It is not new in medical history to propose a global concern to be classified as a disease. Defining a concern into disease allows to assign ethical responsibilities to develop powerful and effective interventions. It also allow to appropriate distribute the resources uniformly economically and morally. In 2003, World Health Organization report stated that 30-50 % of patients do not take their medications as prescribed associated with morbidity, mortality and health cost. It was considered a global concern, however, irrespective of decades of researches conducted on medication adherence, we are still unable to state that medication adherence issues are being resolved. In this review, we have described few apprehensions in current understandings of medication adherence that have limited its research. We have also proposed medication adherence as disorder and provided its’ definition and classification
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Nursing Keywords: Validation; communication; questionnaire; healthcare attention; patient satisfaction; nursing.
Online: 25 March 2019 (10:40:45 CET)
Background: Healthcare attention is sometimes considered purely technical, but communication has proven to be closely related to clinical results and patient satisfaction. Therefore, evaluation of communication in the scope of healthcare is a priority. The purpose of this study was to validate and adapt, if necessary, the Spanish version of the Communication Styles Inventory (CSI) in a sample of nursing professionals. (2) Methods: The sample was made up of 2313 nursing professionals selected at random from various medical centers in Spain, and is therefore a sample actively employed at the time data were acquired. We started out from the Communication Style Inventory, a questionnaire for evaluating the predominance of certain individual communication behaviors on six scales (expressiveness, preciseness, verbal aggressiveness, questioningness, emotionality and impression manipulativeness). (3) Results: Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the model proposed showed god fit indices. The reliability of the model shown by the Cronbach’s alpha of α=.81 was adequate, and so was single-level and aggregate consistency. Finally, in the analysis of variance by type of contract, configural, metric and scalar invariance was acceptable, but not strict invariance. (4) Conclusions: This instrument progresses in measuring non-technical attributes, such as communication styles, in nursing personnel.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0046.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: pervasive healthcare; cascading reasoning; fog computing; stream reasoning
Online: 3 September 2018 (15:29:41 CEST)
In hospitals and smart nursing homes, ambient-intelligent care rooms are equipped with many sensors. They can monitor environmental and body parameters, and detect wearable devices of patients and nurses. Hence, they continuously produce data streams. This offers the opportunity to collect, integrate and interpret this data in a context-aware manner, with a focus on reactivity and autonomy. However, doing this in real-time on huge data streams is a challenging task. In this context, cascading reasoning is an emerging research approach that exploits the trade-off between reasoning complexity and data velocity by constructing a processing hierarchy of reasoners. Therefore, a cascading reasoning framework is proposed in this paper. A generic architecture is presented allowing to create a pipeline of reasoning components hosted locally, in the edge of the network, and in the cloud. The architecture is implemented on a pervasive health use case, where medically diagnosed patients are constantly monitored, and alarming situations can be detected and reacted upon in a context-aware manner. A performance evaluation shows that the total system latency is mostly lower than 5 seconds, allowing for responsive intervention by a nurse in alarming situations. Using the evaluation results, the benefits of cascading reasoning for healthcare are analyzed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0220.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: innovation; service innovation; healthcare; chronic diseases; SD Logic
Online: 30 March 2017 (17:10:41 CEST)
In service economy, scholars and practitioners focus on the development and the appliance of innovative services. The importance of service innovation is rising in many sectors and among different organizations. Several disciplines (e.g. marketing, management, operations research, etc.) focus on this innovation, a concept widely used, but with different definitions. In this paper, service innovation has been analyzed according to SD Logic and a service ecosystem perspective. Literature still call for a deeper understanding of how new or renewed resources’ combination affect the shaping of service ecosystems. To contribute to fill this gap, the study explores the practices that different actors, internal and external to a healthcare service ecosystem, enact to co-create value in novel ways that is service innovation. The paper is structured as follows. In the next section, the main academic contributions on service research have been reviewed, focusing on healthcare service innovation. Follows, the research method and the discussion of research findings. Finally, theoretical and managerial implications have been detailed and an agenda for future research suggested. The paper offers interesting insights to develop new or renewed practices that foster the reshaping and maintaining of a healthcare service ecosystem. Some recommendations are included to support managers in the development of service innovation strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0411.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: community participatory asset mapping; asset-based approaches to health; health inequalities; basic healthcare services; community-based healthcare; democratic republic of congo
Online: 6 September 2023 (10:32:40 CEST)
Populations with healthcare needs often reside in post-conflict settings where basic services needed to maintain good health may be non-existent or hard to access. Therefore, there is a need for better identification and reallocation of resources as part of the post-conflict health rehabilitation effort. This study applies an asset-based approach to explore the more optimal design of health services and to identify the resource constraints for basic health service delivery to the most vulnerable communities in eastern Congo. We implemented the asset mapping in two phases. Firstly, we combined a qualitative survey with community walks to identify the assets already present in the communities. Secondly, we conducted group discussions to map out assets that are the core of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) practice. We finally documented all assets in a Community Asset Spreadsheet. Overall, 209 assets were identified as available and potentially valuable resources for the communities in eastern Congo. Among them, 60 were local associations, 24 were land and physical environment, 43 were local institutions, 46 were individuals, 32 to economy and exchange, and only 6 were related to culture, history, and stories. Drawing upon the findings from the qualitative survey, community walks, and group discussions, we conclude that an important number of resources were in place for basic health service delivery. By activating the existing and potential resources, the most vulnerable populations in eastern Congo might have the required resources for basic health service delivery. Our findings support the use of an asset-mapping research method as appropriate to identify existing and potential resources for basic health services in a post-conflict setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0282.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: ASD; coronavirus; physical activity; screen time; sleep duration; healthcare
Online: 6 November 2023 (08:06:27 CET)
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic limitations may negatively affect children and youth in terms of health behaviors, and it might be especially challenging for children who are diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders such as children and youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The present study assessed alterations in physical activity, screen time, and sleep duration of ASD children and the prevalence of meeting the 24-hour movement guidelines during the COVID-19 outbreak. Forty-six Arab Israeli mothers of children with ASD were surveyed by an online cross-sectional survey. As reported by the mothers, the results show a significant decrease in physical activity, a significant increase in screen time, and a significant increase in sleep duration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the proportion of the sample who gained the physical activity and screen time recommendations lessened while the percentage of children who met the sleep duration guidelines increased. The prevalence of ASD children who achieved the overall 24-hour movement guidelines was very small during the COVID-19 outbreak. The outcomes extend the body of knowledge regarding the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders and highlight the need for instant healthcare and interventions and programs for children with ASD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1305.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: Alexithymia; burnout; hopelessness; healthcare workers; HCWs; Covid-19; pandemic
Online: 18 August 2023 (10:00:03 CEST)
In the present study, we aimed to assess the prevalence and the relationships between alexithymia, burnout and hopelessness in a large sample of healthcare workers (HCWs) during the third wave of Covid-19 in Italy. Alexithymia was evaluated by the Italian version of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), hopelessness was measured using the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) and irritability (IRR), depression (DEP) and anxiety (ANX) were evaluated with the Italian version of Irritability‚ Depression‚ Anxiety Scale (IDA). This cross-sectional study recruited a sample of 1445 HCWs from a large urban healthcare facility in Italy from 1 June—31 May 2021. Comparison between individuals positive (n=214, 14.8%) or not for alexithymia (n=1231, 85.2%) controlling for age, gender and working seniority revealed that positive subjects showed higher scores on BHS, MBI, IRR, DEP and ANX than not positive ones (p<0.001). In the linear regression model, higher working seniority and higher MBI, DEP, ANX and TAS-20 scores were associated with higher hopelessness. In conclusion, increased hopelessness was associated with higher burnout and alexithymia. Comprehensive strategies should be implemented to support HCWs mental health and mitigate the negative consequences of alexithymia, burnout, and hopelessness
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.2002.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; vaccines; hesitancy; attitudes; medical students; healthcare workers
Online: 31 July 2023 (02:20:29 CEST)
University students, particularly those in the healthcare disciplines, constitute a category of particular interest in regard to COVID-19 vaccines and the attitudes to vaccination, as their future professional role will enable them to inform and educate citizens regarding vaccination. The objectives of the study were to investigate the vaccination coverage with a COVID-19 vaccine among students from different degree programs at the Medical universities in Bulgaria behaviors and attitudes toward vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine. A prospective cross-sectional study in the period September 2021- March 2022 was conducted. Information on demographics, university program, year of study, general attitudes and behavior towards vaccines and attitudes and personal experience with COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines were collected. The chi-square test was used to test for associations and binominal logistic regression was used to identify possible predictors for vaccination. A total of 3050 students with a median age of 22 years, predominantly female took part in the study. Three-thirds of the students (73.5%) have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The main reasons for vaccine hesitancy in both group of students were the fear of side effects and the doubts about the safety of the vaccines although non-vaccinated students significantly more frequently express those fears. Respondents who considered to have: a) limited access to sufficient information to inform COVID-19 vaccine uptake; b) lack of public awareness and education campaigns about effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines; c) insufficient information about COVID-19 vaccines during the University education; and d) had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis were less likely to be vaccinated. Students who have not completed the mandatory immunization cycle according to country schedule were also less likely to have completed COVID-19 vaccination. The students showed an overall positive attitude towards the COVID-19 vaccines. Promoting informational campaigns that emphasize the vaccine's safety will be more effective to further increase the vaccination coverage with COVID-19 vaccines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1717.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Healthcare-associated infections; indoor air quality; infection control; Candida
Online: 25 July 2023 (11:50:29 CEST)
Background: Fungi are ubiquitous microorganisms that are easily dispersed through the air. In healthcare environments, indoor air can favor the spread of healthcare-associated fungal infections, compromising mainly immunocompromised hospitalized individuals. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the indoor air contamination in healthcare environments, investigating mainly the presence of potentially pathogenic yeasts. Methods: Indoor air samples were collected from twelve healthcare environments (hospital and medical clinics). After the growth, isolation, and purification of the yeast colonies, the isolates were identified by polymerase chain reaction using species-specific primers for yeasts of the genus Candida and sequencing of D1/D2 domains of the large ribosomal subunit (LSU rRNA). Results: Fourteen yeast species were identified, including emerging pathogens. Species of clinical importance such as Candida parapsilosis, Candida orthopsilosis, Candida glabrata, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, and Trichosporon mucoides were present. C. Parapsilosis was the most prevalent species, followed by Rodothorula mucilaginosa. Conclusions: The present study shows that potentially fungal pathogens were present in air samples from healthcare environments, proving the role of indoor air in spreading infections. Thus, monitoring air quality in healthcare environments is a fundamental approach in developing infection control measures, especially those related to invasive fungal infections.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0541.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Nursing Keywords: high-fidelity patient simulation; problem-solving; clinical reasoning; healthcare
Online: 10 July 2023 (04:48:42 CEST)
High-fidelity patient simulation (HFPS) is widely used in professional training to enhance students’ competence in clinical management. Problem-solving (PS) and clinical reasoning (CR) skills are essential to developing students in professional competence in safe and effective care. These two skills should be initiated at the early training. However, little is known about the effects of HFPS on developing PS and CR skills in first year undergraduate students. Therefore, this pre- and post-experimental study aimed to investigate the effects of HFPS on development of PS and CR skills in first-year nursing students. The students were required to go through four sessions, preparation, pre-briefing and orientation, simulation role-playing, and debriefing, for the HFPS. The study utilized the Problem-Solving Inventory (PSI) and the Nurses Clinical Reasoning Scale (NCRS) to measure problem-solving and clinical reasoning abilities before and after HFPS. Bivariate analysis, one-sample t-test, and independent t-test were performed to evaluate the performance of the PS and CR skills at the two study periods. One hundred eighty-nine students were recruited, with a mean age of 20.56 years, and 73% were female students. The analytic results showed that the PSI, particularly in domains of Problem-Solving Confidence (PSC) (p<0.001) and overall PS (p<0.001), and the CR (p<0.001) had significant improvement after HFPS. The study concluded that HFPS is an effective innovative method to significantly improve students’ problem-solving and clinical reasoning abilities. Nurse educators play an important role in providing explicit learning instructions in a simulation guideline that directs and guides students to learn at each stage of HFPS. Students should take more initiative and engage in their learning through HFPS to enhance their competence in knowledge and higher intellectual skills for personal and professional developments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1579.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Work engagement; burnout; health professionals; private sector; healthcare unit
Online: 23 May 2023 (05:17:04 CEST)
The aim of this study was to investigate the work engagement and burnout in healthcare professionals in a private health unit in Greece. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 151 professionals (doctors, nurses, administrative staff and professionals of other specialties). The questionnaire included demographic and work-related information and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and Maslach Burnout Inventory. Analysis was performed by SPSS v.26. With regard to the work engagement, the participants presented a medium score in absorption and a medium to high score in vigor and dedication. In addition, they presented low score in depersonalization, a medium score in emotional exhaustion and a high score in personal accomplishment. Those who had a working contract for an indefinite period had higher score in all the dimensions of burnout. Vigor, dedication and absorption were negatively correlated with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and positively with personal accomplishment. Healthcare professionals in private health sector in Greece present moderate work engagement and experience moderate levels of burnout. Work engagement is associated with burnout and plays an important role in its prevention. There are some significant differences in work engagement and burnout based on several demographic and work-related characteristics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0606.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: PKU; Phenylketonuria; social media; Facebook; healthcare professionals; dietitians; support
Online: 20 April 2023 (05:16:16 CEST)
Background: The diagnosis of phenylketonuria (PKU) in an infant is a devastating and overwhelming event for their parents. Providing appropriate information and support is paramount, especially at the beginning of a child’s life. Investigating if parents are receiving the right support is important for their continued care. Methodology: An online survey was distributed to explore parents’ perceptions of current support and information provided by their healthcare provider and to rate sources of other support (n=169 participants). Results: Dietitians received the highest (85%) rate of “very helpful” support. Overall, parents found Facebook to be helpful for support, but had mixed reactions when asked if healthcare professionals (HCPs) should provide advice as part of the groups. When rating the most effective learning methods, the top three were: 1:1 sessions (n=109, 70%), picture books (n=73, 50%) and written handouts (n=70, 46%). Conclusion: Most parents were happy with the support and information they received from their dietitian, but required more support from other HCPs. Facebook groups provide parents with the social support that HCPs and their family may be unable to offer, suggesting a place for social media in future PKU care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0558.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: access to healthcare; Albania; barriers; children; schoolchildren; sociodemographic factors
Online: 19 April 2023 (07:23:09 CEST)
Access to healthcare services is an essential component of promoting public health and sustainable development. Our aim was to assess socio-demographic correlates of barriers to access healthcare services among children in Albania, a post-communist country in Europe. An online survey was conducted in September 2022, including a nationwide representative sample of 7831 schoolchildren (≈54% girls) pertinent to grades 6-9 from all regions of Albania. A structured and anonymous questionnaire was administered to all children inquiring about a range of potential barriers to access healthcare services. Overall, about 42% of the children reported that they had barriers to access healthcare services. There were no gender differences, but significant: ethnic differences (51% among Roma/Egyptian children vs. 42% among the general sample of the children); urban/rural differences (46% rural vs. 39% urban); and socioeconomic differences (52% among children with a lower maternal education vs. 31% among children with a higher maternal education; 66% among children from poor families vs. 35% among children with a higher family income). In transitional Albania, children residing in rural areas, children from Roma and/or Egyptian communities and especially those pertinent to low socioeconomic families report considerably more barriers to access healthcare services, which is a cause of concern.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0123.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Influenza vaccines; Vaccine hesitancy; Healthcare workers (HCWs); South Africa
Online: 8 June 2022 (10:03:21 CEST)
Vaccination attitudes among healthcare workers (HCWs) is a vital factor for measuring their level of vaccination uptake and intention to recommend vaccinations to their patients. To our knowledge, no study has been conducted in South Africa to assess hesitancy to influenza vaccines among HCWs. We used questionnaire adapted from Betsch and colleagues to conduct an online and face-to-face cross-sectional study among HCWs at the start of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out prior to the flu season. Main outcome was influenza vaccine hesitancy. We used multivariate logistic regression to assess predictors of influenza vaccine hesitancy. Of 401 participants, 64.5% were women, 49.2% nurses, and 12.5% physicians. A total of 54.9% were willing to accept vaccination, 20.4% were undecided, and 24.7% intended to refuse. Older participants above 17-25 years and physicians were likely to receive the vaccine. Key predictors of vaccine acceptance were confidence in the effectiveness, consideration of benefits and risks, and willingness to be vaccinated to protect others. Influenza vaccine hesitancy was highest in those who did not trust that influenza vaccines are safe. For future flu seasons, tailored education programs targeting younger HCWs and more information about the composition of flu vaccines would be vital to improve vaccine uptake.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0243.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Otolaryngology Keywords: telemedicine; otolaryngology; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; virtual healthcare
Online: 26 April 2022 (13:02:00 CEST)
Objectives: As institutions modified medical practices to mitigate the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, providers were forced to modify care through the implementation of telemedicine. The objective of this article is to review the current practices of otolaryngology during the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations of telemedicine in current practice. Methods: A thorough review of the PubMed and MEDLINE databases was performed for publications between 2020 and 2021. Studies discussing telemedicine in otolaryngology during COVID-19 pandemic were selected. Results: As worldwide cases of COVID-19 continue to oscillate, we must continue to be vigilant in our clinical practice, implementing safe techniques to mitigate the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through the continual use of telemedicine in all specialties of otolaryngology. Trends of increased patient acceptance of the use of telemedicine have been seen across subspecialities, including otolaryngology. Conclusion: Currently there are challenges associated with the implementation of telemedicine in the field of otolaryngology that rely heavily on adjunct physical examination, imaging studies, and specialty procedures. However, telemedicine has tremendous potential and can be adapted to include in the otolaryngologist’s toolbelt during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0172.v2
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: blockchain; healthcare supply chain management; logistics cooperation; big data
Online: 19 January 2022 (12:09:00 CET)
This study emphasizes the necessity of introducing a blockchain-based joint logistics system to strengthen the competency of medical supply chain management (SCM) and tries to develop a healthcare supply chain management (HSCM) competency measurement item through an analytic hierarchy process. The variables needed for using blockchain-based joint logistics are the performance expectations, effort expectations, promotion conditions, and social impact of the UTAUT model, and the HSCM competency results in increased reliability and transparency, enhanced SCM, and enhanced scalability. Word cloud results, analyzing the most important considerations to realize work efficiency among medical industry-related agencies, mentioned numerous words, including sudden situations, delivery, technology trust, information sharing, effectiveness, urgency, etc. This might imply the need to establish a system that can respond immediately to emergency situations during holidays. It could also suggest the importance of real-time information sharing to increase the efficiency of inventory management. Therefore, there is a need of a business model that can increase the visibility of real-time medical SCM through big data analysis. By analyzing the importance of securing reliability based on the blockchain technology in the establishment of a supply chain network for HSCM competency, we reveal that joint logistics can be achieved and synergistic effects can be created by implementing the integrated database to secure HSCM competency. Strengthening partnerships, such as joint logistics, will eventually lead to HSCM competency. In particular, HSCM should seek ways to upgrade its competitive capabilities through big data analysis based on the establishment of a joint logistics system.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0150.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: medical moulage; low-cost; healthcare simulation; simulation-based learning
Online: 8 September 2021 (12:39:35 CEST)
Background: Simulation plays a crucial role in health studies, as it helps medical students apply their theoretical knowledge in real-life situations. Moulage is one of the techniques that helps in making simulation more realistic or high-fidelity. It uses special effects to emulate wounds for a better understanding of what the wound is like visually. Still, moulage is expensive, time-consuming, resource-intensive, and requires the training of staff, which is why we need to find low-cost substitutes for moulage materials. Method: When searching the database “PubMed” for the terms “Low-cost and Medical moulage”, we retrieved 222 studies, out of which when excluding results not related to low-cost, we obtained 62 studies, from which when removing studies that do not contain information regarding moulage, we found two papers, after referring to citations and cited articles of those papers, we ended up with six studies. Based on the selected articles and additional articles sourced from their reference list, a total of 11 studies were included in the review. Results: We understand that moulage is a technique that helps make simulations come alive, but the resources required to use it are at times, expensive, which is why we need to find methods to do low-cost moulage, and many studies address that it can be as simple as using homemade ingredients. Students from a previous study have talked about their opinions regarding the realistic component of moulage and whether if it is any different from other moulages. Most of the students agreed that the moulage ranked well in face and content validity. However, further innovations must be introduced in the field to be widely spread and lead to newer opportunities. Conclusion: Although the research done under moulage is limited, it is accepted that moulage is helpful for simulation-based studies and that low-cost moulage can help make medical studies a better experience for students studying it. Students have a favorable opinion on the realistic aspect of the low-cost moulage applied to them. Newer methods can be introduced to moulage, and it can be implemented in low-income countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0238.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: self-supervised learning; medicine; healthcare; representation learning; unlabeled data
Online: 11 August 2021 (08:27:57 CEST)
Machine learning has become an increasingly ubiquitous technology, as big data continues to inform and influence everyday life and decision-making. Currently in healthcare, as well as in most other industries, the two most prevalent machine learning paradigms are supervised learning and transfer learning. Both practices rely on large-scale, manually annotated datasets to train increasingly complex models. However, the requirement of data to be manually labeled leaves an excess of unused, unlabeled data available in both public and private data repositories. Self-supervised learning (SSL) is a growing area of machine learning that has the ability to take advantage of unlabeled data. Contrary to other machine learning paradigms, SSL algorithms create artificial supervisory signals from unlabeled data and pretrain algorithms on these signals. The aim of this review is two-fold: firstly, we provide a formal definition of SSL, divide SSL algorithms into their four unique subsets, and review the state-of-the-art published in each of those subsets between the years of 2014-2020. Second, this work surveys recent SSL algorithms published in healthcare, in order to provide medical experts with a clearer picture of how they can integrate SSL into their research, with the objective of leveraging unlabeled data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0480.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Algebra And Number Theory Keywords: healthcare system; medical network; trust; mathematical modeling; complex network
Online: 23 October 2020 (10:33:20 CEST)
Medical Trust-Network is one of the most promising fields of study in network science. Establishment of trust within medical entities ensures better treatment and increases better medical facilities. The word ‘Trust’ signifies a very important behavioral aspect between any human entities, especially among doctors and patients. To represent such relationships Trust Network Models are built to express the interactions between human entities within such networks. Though the idea of a Trust-Network has traditionally been one of the major areas of research, yet the concept of a medical trust network model is relatively a new domain. In this paper, we introduce an overall multilayered Trust Network to represent the entire healthcare architecture. More specifically our model is based on an evolutionary graph system with a discrete relationship between the three most important entities of any healthcare system, namely – Doctors, Departments, and Hospitals. Observations indicate that based on our model, the medical healthcare system is a multilayered model unlike a feed-forward model as indicated by previous studies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0141.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: data sharing; data management; data science; big data; healthcare
Online: 8 March 2020 (16:46:20 CET)
In recent years, more and more health data are being generated. These data come not only from professional health systems, but also from wearable devices. All these data combined form ‘big data’ that can be utilized to optimize treatments for each unique patient (‘precision medicine’). To achieve this precision medicine, it is necessary that hospitals, academia and industry work together to bridge the ‘valley of death’ of translational medicine. However, hospitals and academia often have problems with sharing their data, even though the patient is actually the owner of his/her own health data, and the sharing of data is associated with increased citation rate. Academic hospitals usually invest a lot of time in setting up clinical trials and collecting data, and want to be the first ones to publish papers on this data. The idea that society benefits the most if the patient’s data are shared as soon as possible so that other researchers can work with it, has not taken root yet. There are some publicly available datasets, but these are usually only shared after studies are finished and/or publications have been written based on the data, which means a severe delay of months or even years before others can use the data for analysis. One solution is to incentivize the hospitals to share their data with (other) academic institutes and the industry. Here we discuss several aspects of data sharing in the medical domain: publisher requirements, data ownership, support for data sharing, data sharing initiatives and how the use of federated data might be a solution. We also discuss some potential future developments around data sharing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1258.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: non-memory led dementia; young onset dementia; inherited dementia; care-partners; carers; caregivers; healthcare professionals; healthcare students; virtual environments; qualitative; arts and health
Online: 20 November 2023 (16:45:26 CET)
This study investigated co-constructed research poetry as a way to understand the lived experiences of people affected by rarer dementia and as a means to use poetry to convey those experiences to healthcare professionals. Using mixed-methods, 71 people living with rarer dementia and care-partners (stakeholders) contributed to co-constructing 27 poems with professional poets; stakeholders’ verbatim words were analysed with descriptive qualitative analysis. Stakeholders were also surveyed and interviewed about their participation. Healthcare professionals (n = 93) were surveyed to elicit their responses to learning through poetry and its acceptability as a learning tool. Poems conveyed a shared narrative of different aspects of lived experience, often owing to atypical symptoms, misunderstandings by professionals, lack of support pathways, and a continuous struggle to adapt. Stakeholder surveys indicated it was a valuable experience to both co-create and respond to the poems, whilst group interviews revealed people’s experiences of the research poetry were characterised by reflection on lived experience, curiosity and exploration. Healthcare professionals’ responses reinforced the poetry’s capacity to stimulate cognitive and affective learning specific to rare dementia support and prompt both empathy and critical thinking in practice. As the largest poetry-based study that we are aware of, this novel accessible approach of creating group poems yielded substantial information about the experiences and needs of those affected by rarer dementia and how poetry can contribute to healthcare education and training.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1000.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Hospital readmission reduction; Predictive modeling in healthcare; Patient-centered care and AI technologies; Data governance and privacy; Ethical considerations of AI in healthcare
Online: 14 July 2023 (09:13:04 CEST)
The complex progression, specialized care, and comorbidities of chronic diseases place a financial and health burden on society. In some instances, the high hospital readmission rate is also a result of chronic diseases. The readmission rates can be decreased if the quality of life for patients is increased and healthcare costs are reduced through effective management and preventive measures. As a result, healthcare professionals, service providers, and policy-makers are looking for innovative approaches to reduce healthcare costs while enhancing the quality of care. There is an emerging trend in deploying technological advancements like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, wearables, social media, mobile apps, and genomics to decrease hospital readmissions. In some instances, predictive analytics, early warning systems, personal-ized care management, remote monitoring and Telehealth, decision support systems, patient education and engagement, and other areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning have outperformed traditional approaches in lowering hospital readmissions. Although AI effectively reduces readmission, there are potential risks if it is not combined with efficient interventions. Therefore, real-time monitoring and intervention are required for AI systems to increase patient safety and decrease hospital readmissions. To achieve autonomy, prevent harm, achieve fairness, and achieve explicability, the ethical principles relating to AI systems should be taken into ac-count. This study examines the significant impact on health and the economy of hospital read-missions for chronic diseases and the role of AI in reducing readmissions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1587.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: self-esteem; occupational factors; depression; anxiety; healthcare workers; Covid-19
Online: 26 November 2023 (06:21:45 CET)
The prevalence of depression and anxiety among healthcare workers (HCWs) during the Covid-19 pandemics is high. The aim of the study is to identify the importance of self-esteem and occupational factors in association with the incidence of depression and anxiety among HCWs through a longitudinal cohort study during the Covid-19 pandemics in Latvia. Participants were interviewed repeatedly seven times during the Covid-19 pandemics. 322 participants were included in the data analysis for depression and 352 for anxiety. Low self-esteem and working in the general practitioner's office is associated with the incidence of depression and anxiety. Undergraduate education and direct contact with Covid-19 patients are associated with the incidence of depression. The risk of anxiety decreases by 1% each year among HCWs. Our study shows the importance of personality factors of HCWs during the Covid-19 pandemics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1630.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: healthcare; claims reserving; generalized linear models; medical malpractice; error estimation
Online: 25 October 2023 (09:52:44 CEST)
One of the challenges in the healthcare sector is making accurate forecasts across insurance years for claims reserve. The state-of-the-art envisages various methods for estimating the claims reserve but without being applied to systems that do not present huge variability and heterogeneity, such as the healthcare sector. The methodology is based on generalized linear models using the Overdispersed Poisson distribution as shown in the state-of-the-art. In this context, we developed a method to estimate the parameters of the quasi-likelihood function using a Gauss-Newton algorithm optimized through a genetic algorithm. The genetic algorithm plays a crucial role in glimpsing the position of the global minimum to ensure a correct convergence of the Gauss-Newton method, where the choice of the initial guess is fundamental. The proposed methodology has been entirely developed using MATLAB and has been applied to estimate the claims reserve in the healthcare system of the Tuscany Region in Italy, as case study. The results obtained were validated by comparing them with the state-of-the-art by measuring the confidence intervals of the Overdispersed Poisson distribution parameters. Therefore local healthcare authorities could use the proposed and improved methodology to allocate the resources dedicated to healthcare and global management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1267.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: coronavirus disease; healthcare workers; individual-level; perceived risk; South Africa
Online: 19 October 2023 (10:55:18 CEST)
The global SARS-Cov-2 which caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact over the last 3.5 years, especially among healthcare workers (HCWs) who were constantly in the forefront of the pandemic. Due to the nature of their work, HCWs faced a potential risk of exposure. Therefore, this study investigated the individual-level factors associated with perceived COVID-19 risk among South African HCWs. We used an analytical cross-sectional study design to analyse data from the South African Health Care workers’ response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic online survey conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council across the nine provinces in South Africa, from 11th April to 7th May 2020. In this study, only data (n= 5 579) with non-missing values for COVID-19 risk and individual-level factors (age, gender, educational level, occupational category, and race) was analysed. Univariate and Multivariate binomial logistic regression analyses were conducted. The crude and adjusted odds ratio and p-value ≤ 0.05, were used to describe the association between the individual-level factors and perceived COVID-19 risk, from low-medium to high. The binomial logistic regression was used to assess the factors associated with high perceived risk. Perceived COVID-19 risk among HCWs in South Africa was significantly associated with age, race, educational level and occupational category. Being 60 years and older, being “White”, having a Master’s and Doctorate degrees and being a healthcare worker other than a nurse practitioner and medical practitioner, all had higher odds of having high perceived COVID-19 risk. The findings may be used to guide policies and programs aimed at mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and other similar pandemics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0255.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Climate Change, Healthcare Sustainability, Carbon Emissions, Planetary Health, Telementoring, Decarbonization
Online: 6 October 2023 (11:21:10 CEST)
Climate Change is the most serious planetary emergency of our time. Carbon emissions secondary to the healthcare industry account for about ten percent of all emissions in the United States. Health professionals, therefore, need to understand how they can make a difference in their profession, by understanding the health-related impacts of climate change and the importance of healthcare sustainability. An 8-week telementoring Climate Change Healthcare Sustainability ECHO series was developed to educate healthcare professionals in these topics such as the health-related effects of climate change, healthcare sustainability, quality healthcare and carbon accounting. A total of 376 participants from throughout the US and 16 other countries- completed this 8-week series and received no-cost continuing medical education credits. The evaluation consisted of pre and post Zoom polls, weekly post-session surveys and the registration demographics. Participants were primarily physicians and public health professionals who significantly improved their knowledge and communication skills after the course as compared to starting the training.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1059.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Other Keywords: digital twin; emergency healthcare; wearable devices; machine learning; predictive analytics
Online: 18 September 2023 (05:27:38 CEST)
The prevalence of chronic diseases is dramatically increasing demand for emergency healthcare. Existing systems rely on patients self-identifying symptoms, causing dangerous delays. This study develops an AI and IoT-powered “digital twin” solution to enable continuous real-time monitoring and timely prediction of diverse medical emergencies. A digital twin is a virtual representation of an individual, modeled using multidimensional physiological data from wearable sensors. Machine learning techniques analyze patterns in this data to identify anomalies and predict emergencies like heart attacks or falls. A key contribution is an optimized ensemble algorithm combining gradient boosted trees, neural networks, and other techniques to accurately detect emergency events. Evaluation on a dataset of 9158 samples shows the digital twin identifies key emergencies with over 90% recall, enabling prevention and rapid response. It allows risk stratification and personalized interventions based on early warnings, circumventing over 2 million avoidable emergency room visits annually. This study demonstrates the feasibility of an integrated, predictive, patient-centric emergency response system enabled by digital twin technology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0590.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: healthcare companies; financial performance; crisis periods; economic crisis; COVID-19
Online: 8 September 2023 (04:33:25 CEST)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the financial performances of the publicly held healthcare companies in crisis periods in Türkiye. The 2018 Economic Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic crisis were included in the study as the crisis periods. We collected the financial data of the publicly held healthcare companies and calculated three liquidity, three turnover, three leverage and three profitability ratios by ratio analysis to use as financial performance indicators. We then conducted Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and we did separate analyses for the 2018 Economic Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The results of the analyses showed that there were no statistically significant differences between the publicly held healthcare companies’ liquidity, turnover, leverage, profitability ratios and thus their financial performances before the crises and after the crises. While the results are reassuring and give valuable insights to managers and policy makers to determine the areas that needs to be strengthened to be better prepared for possible future crises, our sample was limited. Therefore, this study presents an exploratory foundation for future studies which are needed to make a case of financial stability for the publicly held healthcare companies before and after the crisis periods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2161.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; vaccination; antibody response; cellular immunity; healthcare workers
Online: 31 August 2023 (09:42:22 CEST)
Vaccination has proven highly effective against severe acute res-piratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but the long-term immunogenicity and the functional preserved im-mune responses of vaccines are needed to inform evolving evi-dence-based guidelines for boosting schedules. We enrolled 205 healthcare workers into a cohort study; all had received three doses of BBIBP-CorV (China Sinopharm Bio-Beijing Company) inactivated vaccine. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 specific binding antibodies, neutralizing antibody, and peripheral T and B cell responses. We demonstrated that more robust antibody re-sponses to SARS-CoV-2 were elicited by booster immunization compared to primary vaccination. Neutralizing antibody titers to SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant were also efficiently elevated post homologous vaccine booster despite in a lower titer compared to the prototype stain. In addition to S specific humoral and cellular immunity, BBIBP-CorV also induced N-specific antibody and ef-fector T cell responses. The third-dose vaccination led to further expansion of critical polyfunctional T cell responses, likely an essential element for vaccine protection. In particular, a func-tional role for Tfh cell subsets in immunity was suggested by the correlation between both CD4+Tfh and CD8+Tfh with total anti-body, IgG, B cell responses and neutralizing antibodies. Our study details the humoral and cellular responses generated by the BBIBP-CorV booster vaccination in a seven-month follow up study. There is a clear immunologic boosting value of homolo-gous inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters, a consideration for future vaccine strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0239.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Social Impact; Fear Response; Healthcare; Restriction; Control Measures
Online: 3 August 2023 (10:45:23 CEST)
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of populations across the world. Since the first reported case of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, the world faced a situation of dealing with a novel virus. While the physical health effects of the coronavirus was the center of focus for much of the pandemic, Covid-19 was accompanied with significant social and psychological consequences on the world populations. In this review, we aim to assess how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the African continent at large, highlighting the socio-psychological consequences. Through citing some examples of a few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the review will detail the experiences of the populations within this region which remain plagued with economic and health vulnerabilities that were further exposed by the pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.2007.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: stroke; cost; burden; direct healthcare cost; loss of productivity; QALY
Online: 31 July 2023 (05:04:42 CEST)
The aim of this study was to measure one-year total cost of stroke and to investigate the value of stroke care, defined as cost per QALY. The study population included 892 patients with first ever acute stroke, hemorrhagic and ischemic, (ICD-10 codes: I61, I63 and I64) admitted within 48 hours of symptoms onset to nine public hospitals located in six cities. We conducted a bottom-up cost analysis from the societal point of view. All cost components including direct medical costs, productivity losses due to morbidity and mortality and informal care costs were considered. We used an annual time horizon, including all costs for 2021 irrespective of the time of disease onset. The average cost (direct and indirect) was extrapolated in order to estimate the national annual burden associated with stroke. We estimated the total cost of stroke in Greece at €343.1 mil a year in 2021, (€10,722/patient or €23,308 per QALY). Out of €343.1 mil., 53.3% (€182.9 mil) consisted direct healthcare cost representing 1.1% of current health expenditure in 2021. Overall, productivity losses were calculated at €160.2 mil. The mean productivity losses were estimated to 116 work days with 55.1 days lost due to premature retirement and absenteeism from work, 18.5 days lost due to mortality and 42.4 days lost due to informal caregiving by family members.This study highlights the burden of stroke and underlines the need for stakeholders and policy makers to re-organize stroke care and promote interventions that have been proved as cost-effective
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1381.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: pre-hospital pathway; COVID-19; hospitalisation; healthcare system; pandemic preparedness
Online: 20 June 2023 (03:32:42 CEST)
Context. During the COVID-19 pandemic, patient care was mainly organised around the hospital. Pre-hospital care has, to our knowledge, never been evaluated. Objective: To evaluate the impact of pre-hospital pathways on hospitalisation during the last part of the pandemic. Design. This was a monocentric retrospective analysis of prospectively collected medical records. Data from patients admitted to our institute between 1 February and 7 March 2022 were analysed. Main Outcome Measure(s): The primary outcomes were defined as the number of hospitalisations, resuscitations, and deaths at the time of interview and in the subsequent 30 days. The main explanatory variables were times from onset of symptoms to care, age, gender, News2 score, comorbidities, and pre-hospital pathways and their duration. Results: Three pre-hospital pathways have been identified: a pathway in which the patient consults a general practitioner for a test (PHP1); a pathway in which the patient consulted for care (PHP2); and no pre-hospital pathway and direct admission to hospital (PHP3). Factors independently associated with outcome (hospitalisation) were being male (OR 95% CI; 2.21 [1.01–4.84], p=0,04), News2 score (OR 95% CI; 2.04 [1.65–2.51], p<0.001), obesity (OR 95% CI; 3.45 [1.48–8.09], p=0.005), D-dimers > 0.5 µg/ml (OR 95% CI; 3.45 [1.47–8.12], p=0.005), prolonged time from symptoms to hospital care (PHP duration) (OR 95% CI; 1.07 [1.01–1.14], p=0.03). All things being equal, patients with a “PHP2” pre-hospital pathway had a higher probability of hospitalisation compared to those with a “PHP3” pre-hospital pathway (OR 95% CI; 4.31 [1.48–12.55], p=0.007). Conclusions. Along with recognised risk factors such as gender, News 2 score, and obesity, the patient’s pre-hospital pathway is an important risk factor associated with hospitalisation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0861.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; healthcare workers; pandemics; SARS-CoV-2; vaccination coverage
Online: 24 April 2023 (13:51:21 CEST)
(1) Background: The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers (HCWs) in Poland is not exactly known. This study aims to present secondary epidemiological data identifying the scale of the spread of novel coronavirus infection in selected professional groups of HCWs in Poland. (2) Methods: The secondary epidemiological data included both the number of infections and the number and percentages of deaths in individual occupational groups, which occurred throughout the observation period, both in the country and in individual voivodeships. (3) Results: The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections among HCWs was 16.48%. The highest percentage of infected concerned laboratory scientists (21.62%) and paramedics (18%). The highest frequency of infections among HCWs occurred in the province of Zachodnio-Pomorskie (18.9%). Due to COVID-19, 558 healthcare workers died during the analysed period, mostly nurses (n=236) and doctors (n=200). The results regarding the vaccination coverage of HCWs against COVID-19 indicate the highest percentage of vaccinated were among doctors (83.63%) and the smallest among physiotherapists (38.2%). (4) Conclusions: In general, the percentage of infections was high in Poland during the pandemic (16.48%). Significant territorial differences were observed in the frequency of infections, deaths, and percentage of vaccinated workers in individual voivodeships.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0763.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Community-based medical education; primary healthcare physicians; Bisha; Saudi Arabia
Online: 23 April 2023 (04:17:14 CEST)
Background: Community-based medical education (CBME) is an essential component of medical education, where primary healthcare physicians (PHPs) play a crucial role. This study explores PHPs' awareness and engagement in CBME and investigates the factors influencing their participation. Methods: This mixed study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, a qual-itative study was conducted using semi-structured interviews with PHPs, and thematic analysis related to their awareness and engagement in CBME. In the second phase, a quantitative survey was conducted among 72 PHPs pre- and post-training programs. Results: Primary healthcare physicians had a positive attitude toward community-based medical education. The participants have an acceptable level of awareness and engagement, which increased substantially (p-value = 0.03) and (p-value = 0.003), respectively. Logistic analysis indicated that non-Saudi physicians were likelier to participate in the CBME (p-value=0.001). Professions and academic experiences influence their willingness and engagement to participate in CBME (OR= 7.5, p-value=0.001) and (OR=0.21, p-value=0.001), respectively. Conclusion: The study findings highlighted the importance of increased awareness and the factors that enhance PHPs' engagement in CBME. This positive perspective of the PHPs helps build effective partnerships and facilitates the extension of the curriculum to apply CBME.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0409.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: out-of-pocket cost; primary healthcare; specialized reference hospital; Chagas
Online: 23 March 2023 (04:29:57 CET)
Background Out-of-pocket costs are key expenses that many individuals incur in order to receive health services. They have been identified as a key access barrier for vulnerable populations, in particular for populations affected by neglected diseases with a chronic progression, such as Chagas disease. It is important to understand the costs of accessing healthcare services that are borne by patients with T. cruzi infection. Methodology We prepared a structured survey for patients with T. cruzi infection/Chagas disease who were all treated by the healthcare system in endemic municipalities in Colombia. The results were analyzed according to three categories: 1. the socioeconomic profiling of the patients; 2. the costs of and time spent on transportation; and 3. the opportunity costs (money that was not earned) related to treatment at the local primary care hospital or at the high-complexity reference hospital. Main findings Ninety-one patients answered the survey voluntarily. The data revealed that, when treated at the specialized reference hospital, patients spent 5.5 times more on food and accommodation, transportation costs were five times higher, and the loss of earnings was three times higher than when they were treated at the local primary care hospital. Moreover, the amount of time spent on transportation was 4 times higher at the reference hospital. Conclusions Providing comprehensive healthcare services for Chagas management at local primary healthcare hospitals would allow the most vulnerable patients to save on expenses related to medical and non-medical costs (out-of-pocket costs), in turn leading to higher adhesion to treatment thus benefiting the health system as a whole. These findings are in alignment with the WHO’s World Health Assembly 2010 Resolution on the importance of treating Chagas at local primary care hospitals, thereby saving patients time and money, allowing for timely care, and promoting access to healthcare.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0475.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: Parents; Healthcare workers; Children; C0VID-19 vaccine; Perception; Intention; Attitude
Online: 26 January 2023 (08:43:10 CET)
Abstract Background COVID-19 vaccination program among Adults in India is one of the highly successful vaccination drives globally. Indian children aged 15–18 years old became eligible for COVID-19 vaccination on 3rd January, 2022 followed by 12-14 years old children on 16th March, 2022. As parents are primary decision-makers for their children, we aimed to assess parents' perceptions and intentions regarding COVID-19 vaccination for children in India. Aim To assess parental perceptions and intention to get COVID-19 vaccination for their children (aged<18 years), Materials and Methods A cross-sectional anonymous web-based survey was designed. Healthcare workers of a tertiary care institute in Eastern U.P. having any children aged <18 years were the study population. They were recruited through snowball sampling and were sent the study questionnaire in Google form through email and WhatsApp. Cross-tabulation was performed by parents' intention to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 virus with socio-demographic characteristics and their risk perception toward COVID-19, trust in the healthcare system, and their history of vaccine hesitancy behavior routine childhood immunization. Bi-variate analysis was performed to find out the predictors of child vaccination intention among the parents. Results A total of 388 healthcare workers parents (HCWPs) having A child < 18 years of age completed the survey. Mean age of the parents were 40.28 ±11.34 years with majority(97.0%) completing recommended 2 doses of COVIID-19 vaccine. Around 91% of the parents agreed that COVID-19 vaccines are important for child’s health whereas about 89% agreed to the statement that COVID-19 vaccines are effective. A total 356 (91.7%) participants were willing to vaccinate their child against COVID-19, 91.3% of them liked to do so as soon as possible. The factors significantly associated with the stated likelihood of child vaccination among the participants were younger age, female gender, urban residence, absence of any chronic illness, lower monthly income, history of COVID-19 in child and the child/children completed with routine childhood vaccines. Parental concerns mainly centered around vaccine need, safety and side effects. Conclusion The healthcare worker parents(HCWPs) have good knowledge and positive attitude towards COVID-19 vaccination for children. Around 92% of them were willing to vaccinate their children with COVID vaccine currently, which implies very low vaccine hesitancy among the HCWPs . Further longitudinal studies are required to be conducted to assess the trend of parental acceptance of COVID vaccine.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0016.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; acceptance; healthcare workers; knowledge; risk perception; Nigeria.
Online: 1 September 2022 (09:19:42 CEST)
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are regarded as role models regarding health-related issues including vaccination. Therefore, it is essential to identify the predictors for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among them. A cross-sectional study to assess the risk perception, attitudes and knowledge of HCWs toward COVID-19 vaccination was carried out. A total of 710 responses were received between September 2021 to March 2022, from HCWs in the Northern, Western and Eastern regions of Nigeria. Cross tabulations were performed to determine statistical relations between sociodemographic variables, knowledge, attitudes and risk perceptions concerning COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Multinomial Logistic Regression analysis was performed to determine the predictive variables for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Statistical analyses were performed and P-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant at a CI of 95%. Results showed that 59.3% of the participants were amenable to COVID-19 vaccines. Multinomial regression analysis identified 14 variables at α <0.05 as predictors for vaccine acceptance. Male HCWs were 2.8 times more likely to accept the vaccine than their female counterparts. HCWs that were knowledgeable of the different kinds of vaccines, willing to recommend the vaccines to their patients, believe that the timing of COVID-19 vaccination was appropriate and had recent vaccination history within three years were 1.6, 24.9, 4.4 and 3.1 times more likely to take COVID-19 vaccine than those not sure. The study found a relatively high trust (51.3%) in the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) for information regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, the NDCD should disseminate more robust insights regarding the safety profiles of various COVID-19 vaccines.