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Use of telehealth and outcomes before a visit to the emergency department: a cross-sectional study on walk-in patients in Switzerland

Original article
Mettler AC, Piazza L, Michel J, Müller M, Exadaktylos AK, Hautz WE, Sauter TC
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20543

An increasing number of patients are using telehealth before contacting the healthcare system. If we are to optimise future telehealth strategies and adequately respond to patient needs, we need to know more about the frequency and characteristics of telehealth use. The  objectives of this study were (i) to investigate whether patients use telehealth before consulting the emergency department (ED), (ii) to compare patients with and without use of telehealth, and (iii) to investigate adherence, confidence and satisfaction.

Evaluation of existing and desired measures to monitor, prevent and control healthcare-associated infections in Swiss hospitals

Original article
Metsini A, Widmer A, Zingg W, Gardiol C, Vuichard-Gysin D, Eder M, Maag J, Schlegel M, Marschall J, Harbarth S, Sommerstein R, the Swissnoso network
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20516

Having an electronic medical record system in place and adequate personnel resources dedicated for surveillance activities are crucial prerequisites for developing and implementing an effective healthcare-associated infections (HAI) surveillance system. The lack of an EMR system and the diversity and capacities of EMR solutions will be the main challenges for successful implementation of national HAI surveillance modules.

A case study of short-term forecasting during the COVID-19 pandemic: the platform icumonitoring.ch

Viewpoint
Petermann M, Fröhlich J, Wyler D
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20524

Based on the example of the models implemented on icumonitoring.ch, and on general theoretical considerations, the authors argue that the framework of continuous-time differential equations is not suited to making reliable short-term predictions on quantities such as ICU occupancy in Swiss hospitals. Instead, they propose the use of very simple, hands-on forecasting based on fitting parameters of suitably chosen curves to the observed data, and making the forecast by expert judgement based on the results of the fitted curves.

Differences in infection control and diagnostic measures for multidrug-resistant organisms in the tristate area of France, Germany and Switzerland in 2019 – survey results from the RH(E)IN-CARE network

Original article
Tschudin-Sutter S, Lavigne T, Grundmann H, Rauch J, Eichel VM, Deboscker S, Jaulhac B, Mutters NT
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20454

Multidrug-resistant organisms are a public health threat. Single-centre interventions, however, are likely to fail in the long term, as patients are commonly transferred between institutions given the economic integration across borders. A transnational approach targeting larger regions is needed to plan overarching sets of interventions.

Cohort profile: SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 hospitalised patients in Switzerland

Original article
Thiabaud A, Iten A, Balmelli C, Senn L, Troillet N, Widmer A, Flury D, Schreiber PW, Vázquez M, Damonti L, Buettcher M, Vuichard-Gysin D, Kuhm C, Cusini A, Riedel T, Nussbaumer-Ochsner Y, Gaudenz R, Heininger U, Berger C, Zucol F, Bernhard-Stirnemann S, Corti N, Zimmermann P, Uka A, Niederer-Loher A, Gardiol C, Roelens M, Keiser O
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20475

In cooperation with the Federal Office of Public Health, a surveillance database was set up in February 2020 to monitor hospitalised patients with COVID-19, in addition to their mandatory reporting system. The surveillance system has been successfully initiated and provides a robust set of data for Switzerland by including about 80% (compared with official statistics) of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 hospitalised patients, with similar age and comorbidity distributions. It adds detailed information on the epidemiology, risk factors and clinical course of these cases and, therefore, is a valuable addition to the existing mandatory reporting.

Distribution of low quality filtering facepiece respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic: an independent analysis of the situation in Switzerland

Original article
Delaloye JR, Vernez D, Suarez G, de Courten D, Zingg W, Perret V, Metzger CMJA, Richner G
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20459

The demand for FFP respirators exceeded the supply capacity from established suppliers of the Swiss market. New production and import channels emerged, as did the number of poor-quality FFP respirators. FFP respirators remaining in stocks should be checked for conformity before being used, or eliminated and replaced if quality does not meet standards.

In the eye of the hurricane: the Swiss COVID-19 pandemic stepwise shutdown approach in organ donation and transplantation

Original article
Immer F, Benden C, Elmer A, Krügel N, Nyfeler S, Nebiker M, Wilhlem M, Hirzel C, National Committee for Organ Donation (CNDO), Medical Committee (CM) and Swisstransplant Infectious Diseases Working Group (STAI)
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20447

The Swiss stepwise shutdown approach in organ donation and transplantation helped to maintain a limited national organ procurement and vital organ transplant activity, avoiding a complete nationwide shutdown of organ donation and transplant activity. 

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on acute coronary syndromes

Original article
Perrin N, Iglesias JF, Rey F, Benzakour L, Cimci M, Noble S, Degrauwe S, Tessitore E, Mach F, Roffi M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20448

Prolonged delays from symptom onset to first medical contact and a decline in overall ACS incidence were observed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a higher threshold to call for help among ACS patients.

Towards novel reimbursement models for expensive advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs)

Original article
Picecchi D, Bertram K, Brücher D, Bauer M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20355

This article analyses the current legal framework in Switzerland and critically evaluates existing reimbursement models, particularly with respect to their adaptation for advanced therapy medicinal products. As a promising reimbursement arrangement, this paper proposes a model combining outcome-based instalment payments with aspects of the pay for performance and the annuity payment model. 

Crisis of emerging antibiotic resistances mirroring that of the COVID-19 in the age of globalisation

Viewpoint
Nordmann P, Poirel L, Frey J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20402

Like to the COVID crisis, control of emerging antibiotic resistance genes requires early detection, rapid diagnosis, early intervention and development of novel antimicrobial agents. Epidemiological surveillance at the local level for emerging resistance at the molecular and biochemical levels is required.

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