COVID-19 Impact

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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Deferral of care for serious non-COVID-19 conditions: a hidden harm of COVID-19.

DeJong C, Katz MH, Covinsky KE. JAMA Intern Med. 2020;Epub Oct 27.

This editorial discusses two recent studies exploring the patient safety implications of deferring care for serious non-COVID-19 conditions during the pandemic. In the first related study, the authors identified a substantial decrease in non-COVID-19 hospitalizations for both chronic and acute conditions, as well as injuries, during the peak of the pandemic. In the second related study, the authors identified significant drops in the daily caseload of four common medical emergencies following the onset of the pandemic at two large metropolitan health systems. The editorial discusses factors that may be leading patients to defer care as well as actions that healthcare providers can take to make patients feel safe.