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An Effective Off-Campus Triage System During the COVID-19 Outbreak

23 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2020

See all articles by Ri-hua Xie

Ri-hua Xie

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

Yanfang Chen

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

Ziyu Xiong

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

Jie Wang

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

Lepeng Zhou

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

Ning Li

Southern Medical University - General Practice Center

Smita Pakhale

University of Ottawa - School of Epidemiology and Public Health

Daniel Krewski

University of Ottawa - Institution of Population Health

D.W. Cameron

University of Ottawa - Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Shi Wu Wen

University of Ottawa - OMNI Research Group; University of Ottawa - Clinical Epidemiology Program; University of Ottawa - School of Epidemiology and Public Health

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Abstract

Background: In January 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, Hubei spread to Guangdong that became the province with the second largest number of COVID-19 patients in China. Nanhai Hospital, one of the teaching hospitals of Southern Medical University in Guangdong, was designated by the government as one of the hospitals for suspected COVID-19. This presented challenge of how to effectively handle the suspected cases of COVID-19, while avoiding in-hospital cross-infection and maintaining other important services in the hospital. An off-campus triage system has been demonstrated as an effective method to reduce spread of Ebola and other infectious diseases during outbreaks. However, the effectiveness of off-campus triage system for the CCOVID-19 outbreak has not been reported.

Methods: We created an off-campus triage system at entry points to the outpatient, emergency, and inpatient departments in the hospital, to triage patients to the appropriate care areas. To support this off-campus triage system, we developed an intensive staff training and evaluation including personal protection measures, a detailed triage procedure and staff scheduling, accurate assessment, and timely referral.

Findings: Of the 85,414 patients and visitors to the hospital between January 22 and March 10 of 2020 in Nanhai Hospital, 359 patients were triaged to the COVID-19 fever clinic and 1,218 were triaged to the general fever clinic; 187 were suspected of COVID-19 infection and quarantined; and 4 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed and referred. During the outbreak, no in-hospital infection and no complaint from patients and their family members occurred, and up to March 25, 2020, no new cases of COVID-19 in this hospital or its catchment area were detected.

Interpretation: The off-campus triage system is an effective approach to improve detection of COVID-19 infection, reduce in-hospital cross-infection, and improve patient satisfaction. This triage system could be applied in future infectious disease outbreaks.

Funding Statement: None.

Declaration of Interests: None declared.

Keywords: COVID-19; triage system; cross-infection; patient management

Suggested Citation

Xie, Ri-hua and Chen, Yanfang and Xiong, Ziyu and Wang, Jie and Zhou, Lepeng and Li, Ning and Pakhale, Smita and Krewski, Daniel and Cameron, D.W. and Wen, Shi Wu, An Effective Off-Campus Triage System During the COVID-19 Outbreak (3/25/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3564396 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3564396

Ri-hua Xie

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

China

Yanfang Chen

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

China

Ziyu Xiong

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

China

Jie Wang

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

China

Lepeng Zhou

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

China

Ning Li

Southern Medical University - General Practice Center

China

Smita Pakhale

University of Ottawa - School of Epidemiology and Public Health

Canada

Daniel Krewski

University of Ottawa - Institution of Population Health ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5 K2C 1H7
Canada
613-562-5381 (Phone)
613-562-5380 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: https://web.uottawa.ca/uopr/WPN011?jobs=1&key=12655&lang=EN

D.W. Cameron

University of Ottawa - Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

Shi Wu Wen (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - OMNI Research Group ( email )

Canada

University of Ottawa - Clinical Epidemiology Program ( email )

Canada

University of Ottawa - School of Epidemiology and Public Health ( email )

Canada

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