[ Download PDF ]
brief research report
Since patient access to healthcare is controlled by geographic location, patient records routinely include street addresses, postal codes, or other location elements. By linking spatial, numeric, and categorical health data through a single interface, the aeronautical reconnaissance coverage geographic information system (ArcGIS) dashboard adds the dimension of location and the quality of health information needed at the point of care. Its functions may be used to answer questions that would be difficult to answer without integrating raw patient data with location intelligence technology. However, the provision of geographic information system (GIS) functionalities at the point of care has not been thoroughly investigated.
This paper evaluates the ArcGIS dashboard functionalities through a case study of disruption in care for international patient populations due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic based on their home locations at the tertiary hospital in the U. S. Since the data used in this case study comes from the hospital health data repository, constructing the dashboard afforded an opportunity to explore the provision of GIS functionalities in the GIS–naïve hospital environment.
The model used the loose-coupling approach where two components (electronic health records and GIS data) were integrated and visualized through dashboard linking operations and programming languages. The process resulted in three data-driven dashboard elements: area map, attribute table, and statistical plots, enabling simultaneous exploration of various properties of spatial data.
This paper underpins the potential benefits of the provision of GIS functionalities in the electronic medical records to improve health outcomes, lower costs, and advance spatial epidemiology research. Additionally, it evaluates dashboard scaling limitations and solutions for overcoming the implementation barriers and proposes the future integration of the GIS dashboard with electronic health records by using the health level seven (HL7) fast healthcare interoperability resources (FHIR).
Geographic information system (GIS); Spatial epidemiology; International patient healthcare; Hospital operations; GIS-enabled information dashboard; COVID-19; HL7; FHIR; RPDR.
Women’s health and access to healthcare can be affected by diverse factors such as affluence, cultural norms and availability of healthcare resources. In this study, we compared health status parameters among women of childbearing age from different ethnic groups living in urban and non-urban communities in Malaysia.
Women under the age of 45-years in urban and non-urban areas of Malaysia were invited to participate in this study. In total, 1500 women were approached, and of these 1435 agreed to participate and met our inclusion criteria. Information about personal healthcare, communication with healthcare practitioners, sources of health information, health concerns, weight management, as well as socio-demographic characteristics were obtained using a questionnaire which was adapted from the Women’s Health National Survey 2016 of Australia.
Women of Indian descent made up a higher proportion of respondents in non-urban areas. Women in non-urban areas were less likely to have a higher-level education and belonged to households with a lower annual income. Non-urban respondents were also more likely to be married and to have more children. Women from non-urban locations were less likely to be overweight or exhibit sedentary behaviors. Women from non-urban sites were more interested in improving their health status, more likely to attend routine health checks, and less likely to use dietary supplements.
Women from non-urban areas exhibit healthier behaviours than their urban counterparts and have a lower prevalence of obesity. This is despite poorer access to healthcare provision in rural communities.
Malaysia; Healthcare; Women’s health; Rural health; Health partnership.
The response to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) epidemic included biomedical and vaccine research as well as identification of COVID-19 cases, contact tracing, community health promotion and disease prevention and community vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccinations remind public health professionals and non-professionals alike of this essential public health intervention for controlling infectious diseases. Actions that seek to improve existing vaccination efforts are equally important for effective public health programming.
Secondary data analysis uses an ecological study design to examine any possible associations between the number of COVID-19 cases identified at medical facilities (facility names not identified) within a healthcare system and the number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered within the system and reflect upon the findings for public health action. A loess curve was plotted to help to identify if a curvature pattern was present in a scatter plot.
The statistical algorithm for the loess curve identified a curvature pattern. All plots showed that values became more separated in moving from left to right.
This aggregate pattern in number of COVID-19 cases and number of vaccinations administered might be present in other public health settings or healthcare systems. Four refinements were proposed to help public health decision-makers to improve vaccination efforts: explore the reasons for differences in COVID vaccination given the number of confirmed COVID cases between
facilities; provide vaccination outside traditional settings; facilitate public health and primary care partnerships for community vaccination; and address vaccine knowledge-gaps in the community and other barriers to vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination; Refining vaccination efforts; Public health decision-makers; Public health and primary care partnerships; Ecological study; Loess curve.
Demand for emergency medical services or ambulance response is situated within the context of other healthcare and social welfare services. Worldwide ambulance providers have a wide variety of services available, but many services are struggling to meet service demand. Inappropriate use of ambulance services is one of the biggest concerns globally. The burden of using the ambulance services includes transporting non-critical patients to the hospital. Misuse of the ambulance services is a serious problem that must be addressed and solved.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the public perception of appropriate usage of ambulance services and determine the applicable role of public health to reduce the inappropriate use of an ambulance.
A cross-sectional study was conducted to collect data from the general public using an online survey. The survey contains 9 questions that evaluate the public awareness of appropriate ambulance use. Participants are people from the public within the age of 18 and above.
A total of N=97 of participants’ responses were used to analyze the data.
Complete surveys and answer data using the English language.
Uncompleted surveys, and answered with other languages.
During the online survey, a total of n=97 participants enrolled voluntarily. The majority of the residents are aware of when to and whom to call in case of a medical emergency. N=35 (36%) of the participants believe that ambulance services are misused.
The conducted study demonstrated that almost 36% of participants believed abuse of ambulance services, though there might be numerous reasons for calling ambulance unnecessary. Public health plays a vital role to reduce inappropriate ambulance calls when both ambulance services and public health are integrated into one system of care.
Public health; Ambulance services; Emergency medical services (EMS); Emergency care pathway; Misuse of ambulance services; Paramedic; Scope of public health in EMS.
Poliomyelitis is an oro-fecal vaccine preventable disease affecting mainly children under five-years-old and is prevalent in poor sanitation and hygiene environment. The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed the need for coordination between the public and the non-governmental (particularly private) sectors to increase the coverage with immunization. This study aims to assess the private sector and civil society engagement in the implementation of poliomyelitis vaccination among internally displaced people and irregular settlement in Khartoum. Specifically, the study aimed to identify the major gaps in immunization program among internally displaced people (IDP), and to determine the enablers and barriers for the private sector and civil society active engagement in the immunization program.
This cross-sectional study used both quantitative and qualitative methods. Data was collected from the health facilities mangers and the expanded program of immunization (EPI) service providers at private and civil society’s facilities in the targeted areas using a semi-structured interview guideline and a self-administered questionnaire respectively. The obtained quantitative data was coded and then analyzed using the statistical package for social science (SPSS version 21) and presented using tables. For qualitative part, all data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a thematic analysis, paying particular attention to axes of difference, including gender, private center and non-governmental organization.
The major gaps were the insufficient number of health facilities together with uneven distribution of the available ones, and unclear mandate of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private sector in EPI programme. Most of the managers complained from the lack of human resources for vaccination but stressed on the fact that training of the existing staff made the availability of the service easier. Twelve (12) out of 23 health facilities visited by the field team where in areas that do not have electricity or water supply which imposed more efforts to preserve the vaccines.
Private and civil societies were not well utilized by EPI program in Khartoum, Sudan. A clear mandate for engagement and periodic training for the service providers is highly needed.
Private sector; Civil societies; Poliomyelitis vaccination; Internally displaced people (IDP).
Although the number of deaths of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is decreasing over the world due to vaccination process, but appearing its new variants remain it as the remarkable challenge for health authorities.
The aim of this study is to develop a probit regression model to estimate the chance of mortality for the patients infected to COVID-19.
The contributing factors of age, symptoms and underlying diseases have been considered as independent variables as well as the clearance type of death as dependent variable have been studied for estimating the mortality rate. Patients have been divided into two categories; 1) recovered or transferred and 2) death, followed by developing a probit regression model by the well-known technique of Max likelihood method.
Data have been collected for 1015 patients tested positively to COVID-19 and subsequently received clinical treatment or intensive care.
The results revealed the model is capable of estimating the chance of mortality based on age, symptoms and underlying diseases. As implication, the health authorities ultumately can estimate the patient mortality rate prior to admission procedures in hospitals.
COVID-19; Mortality rate; Healthcare management; Probit regression; Maximum likelihood.
Existing research has addressed the importance of community integration (CI) and its benefits of dwelling in a community but has yet to address the methods and efficiency of improving these activities among older people. Thus, it is vital to understand how healthcare workers can integrate the benefits of CI among older people, especially with the use of occupational therapists (OTs). The latter are actively working to improve ageing individuals mobility within the community.
This study aims to identify Malaysian OTs’ perspectives on CI’s and its implication on older people.
Occupational therapist from different states of Malaysia participated in a semi-structured interview, through a virtual medium (Zoom Cloud Meetings). The interview guide encapsulated the theory of critical incident technique (CIT).
Thematic content analysis, over fourteen participants from 13 states of Malaysia, provided insights into CI’s barriers for older people in Malaysia. The findings revealed that multifaceted factors from an individual, organisational and socio-environmental perspective limit older people’s active CI engagement.
South-East Asia hierarchal and collectivist culture play a significant role in influencing all factors of CI. OTs must understand and incorporate appropriate cultural norms during CI practice development for the older population in Malaysia.
Occupational therapist; Critical incident technique; Older people; Community integration; Qualitative study; Societal norms; Cultural norms.
This commentary presents a point of view on how the arrival of electronic health records (EHR) in the United States (U.S.) has changed physicians’ practice. EHR implementation has pros and cons. EHR systems have been a great asset during the
pandemic and help with efficiency, safety, and cost reduction. Despite their benefits, healthcare providers and organizations still face challenges, including usability and interoperability across systems, contributing to physicians’ burnout. Can physicians adopt new technologies and adapt to current challenges? Is it the right time for physicians to stop being observers and become active
participants in the process of healthcare innovation and implementation?
Physician; EHR; Implementation; Physicians’ burnout.
Background: Community engagement has proved effective in increasing access to healthcare including health insurance, in developed and developing countries.
Aim: The study aims at designing and testing the effectiveness of engaging the community in awareness-raising and increment of health insurance coverage.
Methods: The study was a social interventional community-based study, conducted in A-Duiem Administrative Unit, A-Duiem Locality, Sudan. Baseline data on enrollment in health insurance was collected from 800 heads of households, whereas data on knowledge and attitudes about health insurance was collected from 420 heads of non-insured households using a standardized questionnaire. Strategies to scaleup health insurance through community engagement was collected from community leaders, local authorities, and health insurance policymakers through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The community promotion package of health insurance was implemented for one year and post-intervention data were collected from 420 heads of households. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05 when the confidence interval was 95%. Qualitative data was analyzed manually using the thematic approach.
Results: The study showed significant improvement in the knowledge of the heads of the non-insured households about health insurance after the intervention; knowledge about the enrollment process and service’s package has increased from 34.4% to 61.8% and from 55.8% to 84.7% respectively (p-value 0.0001 in both). The health insurance coverage increased by 17.3% with a significant difference and p-value at 0.0001.
Conclusion: The study concluded that community members have a considerable role in awareness-raising and scaling up of health insurance coverage if they are properly organized, trained, monitored, and supervised. The insufficient commitment of local officials in the unit was a challenge to address during further testing and expansion of the experience.
Health insurance; Population coverage; Knowledge; Attitudes; Community engagement; Intervention; Sudan.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of mortality worldwide, with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) being the most predominant. This is a similar trend in the United States (U.S.). Modifiable and non-modifiable factors are important determinants of dyslipidaemia, a known cause of CVDs.
This study aimed to explore the pattern of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) distribution and its associated risk factors.
The data was collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2015-2016 database which is part of the yearly cross-sectional survey. The NHANES uses complex multistage probability sampling method in data collection. The target population was the noninstitutionalized civilian living across the U.S. The primary sampling units were individuals. Socio-demographic characteristics, body measurement (waist circumference) and blood samples (to determine HDL-C and total cholesterol levels) were recorded. In the database, 5000 respondents were randomly selected for analysis. Statistical analyses were performed using Stata version 14.0. The results are described as means and standard deviation (SD) for group and continuous variables. Regression analyses were used to identify risk factors of low HDL-C.
Of the complete cases (3989), 49.03% were males. The mean age was 46.57±15.44-years. The mean HDL-C was 1.39±0.45 mmoL/L. The prevalence of low HDL-C was 32.8% in males and 12.5% in females. The results obtained from multiple linear regression indicated that male gender, age, ethnicity, country of birth, number of children aged 0-18-years per household, waist circumference, family income to poverty ratio and total cholesterol were significantly associated with HDL-C. Multivariable logistic regression revealed male gender, age 30 to 49-years, ethnicity, smoking, enlarged waist circumference (cm), low family income to poverty ratio and high total cholesterol were associated with low HDL-C.
The prevalence of low HDL-C of was 22.4 %. This was distributed into 32.8% in males and 12.5% in females. The associated risk factors show that lifestyle modification is important in the prevention of low HDL-C and consequently, CVDs.
HDL-C; Risk factors; Cardiovascular diseases; NHANES.
In Sudan, the delivery of care based on the primary health care (PHC) level, which is the first contact with the health system. PHC is the level at which the modifiable risk factors for hypertension are addressed together with the treatment of known hypertensive patients.
To assess the management of hypertension in PHC in Khartoum State, 2018.
Material and Methods
The study was a descriptive cross-section, health centre’s based that covered six PHC centres in Khartoum State. The study interviewed all diagnosed Sudanese hypertensive patients more than 18-years of age who attended the selected PHC centres. The research team collected data using a structured questionnaire and measuring the blood pressure (BP) with a mercury sphygmomanometer. The study variables were demographic characteristics and disease features as independent variables and hypertension control as the dependent variable. The statistician analyzed the data using the statistical package for the Social Science version 21.0 and the Chi-square (χ) test to obtain the p value to test the association between the addressed variables. The study group adopt ethical considerations throughout the study.
Of the 384 hypertensive patients interviewed in this study, 57% were females and 47.7% were more than 60-years of age. A large percent of the subjects were either primary educated or illiterate (32.6%, 19.8% respectively). More than half of the hypertensive patients (52.1%) were uncontrolled and 52.9% had no comorbidities. Diabetes was predominant (39.3%) among those who had comorbidities. The majority of the patients (92.7%) were adherent to the medication. Of the studied patients, 58.1% used monotherapy. The most controlled patients were the elderly and middle-aged patients and the highly educated patients (p=0.005). Patients with a duration less than five-years were more likely to be controlled (p=0.036). The majority of the patients who used combined treatment were found to be controlled.
This study concluded that the high prevalence of uncontrolled hypertensive patients attending PHC was mainly attributed to the use of monotherapy, presence of comorbidities and medication non-adherence. The latter is related to patients’ ignorance, financial constraints and dislike of using many drugs during the day. In addition, elder age and high education were factors for
Hypertension control; Antihypertensive medication; Hypertension management.
ProfessorDepartment of Human Nutrition Institute of Public HealthFaculty of Health SciencesJagiellonian University Medical CollegeGrzegórzecka Str. 20 Kraków 31-531, Poland
Assessment and Evaluation Specialist Physician Assistant Education AssociationWashington, DC, USA
Director GeneralPlanning and International HealthDirectorateFederal Ministry of Health Nile St., Khartoum, Sudan
Pediatrician- Infectious Diseases SpecialistHead, Department for Interventions in Health Care FacilitiesHellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention Αγράφων 3-5, Athens 151 23, Greece