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Abstract

During the early days of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Singapore, Tan Tock Seng Hospital implemented an enhanced pneumonia surveillance (EPS) programme enrolling all patients who were admitted from the Emergency Department (ED) with a diagnosis of pneumonia but not meeting the prevalent COVID-19 suspect case definition.

There is a paucity of data supporting the implementation of such a programme.

To compare and contrast our hospital-resource utilization of an EPS programme for COVID-19 infection detection with a suitable comparison group.

We enrolled all patients admitted under the EPS programme from TTSH’s ED from 7 February 2020 (date of EPS implementation) to 20 March 2020 (date of study ethics application) inclusive. We designated a comparison cohort over a similar duration the preceding year. Relevant demographic and clinical data were extracted from the electronic medical records.

There was a 3.2 times higher incidence of patients with an admitting diagnosis of pneumonia from the ED in the EPS cohort compared to the comparison cohort (<0.001). However, there was no significant difference in the median length of stay of 7 days (=0.160). Within the EPS cohort, stroke and fluid overload occur more frequently as alternative primary diagnoses.

Our study successfully evaluated our hospital-resource utilization demanded by our EPS programme in relation to an appropriate comparison group. This helps to inform strategic use of hospital resources to meet the needs of both COVID-19 related services and essential ‘peace-time’ healthcare services concurrently.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The Microbiology Society waived the open access fees for this article.
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2021-12-13
2022-01-28
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