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The well-being of Swiss general internal medicine residents

Original article
Zumbrunn B, Stalder O, Limacher A, Ballmer PE, Bassetti S, Battegay E, Beer JH, Brändle M, Genné D, Hayoz D, Henzen C, Huber LC, Petignat PA, Reny JL, Vollenweider P, Aujesky D
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20255

Approximately 20% of Swiss general internal medicine residents appear to have a reduced well-being and many show signs of distress or have career choice regret. Having few hours of rewarding work and a high number of working hours were the most important modifiable predictors of reduced well-being. Healthcare organisations have an ethical responsibility to implement interventions to improve physician well-being.

Reasons for admission in asylum-seeking and non-asylum-seeking patients in a paediatric tertiary care centre

Original article
Gmünder M, Brandenberger J, Buser S, Pohl C, Ritz N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20252

In the last decade an increasing number of asylum-seeking children arrived in Europe and local healthcare systems have been challenged to adapt to their health needs. The aim of this study was to compare the spectrum of disease and management of asylum-seeking and non-asylum-seeking children requiring hospital admission.

Digital health and the COVID-19 epidemic: an assessment framework for apps from an epidemiological and legal perspective

Original article
Vokinger KN, Nittas V, Witt CM, Fabrikant SI, von Wyl V
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20282

Building on an existing trustworthiness checklist for digital health applications, the authors searched the literature and developed a framework to guide the assessment of smartphone and web-based applications that aim to contribute to controlling the current epidemic or mitigating its effects.

COVID-19 and telehealth: a window of opportunity and its challenges

Viewpoint
Nittas V, von Wyl V
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20284

Disrupted healthcare systems and the need for physical distancing seem to open a window of opportunity for a broader exposure to telehealth solutions, many of which might have the potential to improve care long after the pandemic passes.

icumonitoring.ch: a platform for short-term forecasting of intensive care unit occupancy during the COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland

Original article
Zhao C, Tepekule B, Criscuolo NG, Wendel Garcia PD, Hilty MP, RISC-19-ICU consortium Investigators in Switzerland, Fumeaux T, Van Boeckel T
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20277

In Switzerland, the COVID-19 epidemic is progressively slowing down owing to “social distancing” measures introduced by the Federal Council on 16 March 2020. However, the gradual ease of these measures may initiate a second epidemic wave, the length and intensity of which are difficult to anticipate. The authors introduce icumonitoring.ch, a platform providing hospital-level projections for ICU occupancy.

The ecology of medical care in Switzerland: prevalence of illness in the community and healthcare utilisation in Switzerland

Original article
Giezendanner S, Bretschneider W, Fischer R, Diaz Hernandez L, Zeller A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20221

This study represents a first attempt to map the healthcare utilisation of the Swiss population. The results indicate that general practitioners are the most important health care resource in Switzerland. 

The global COVID-19 response must include refugees and migrants

Viewpoint
Brandenberger J, Baauw A, Kruse A, Ritz N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20263

Self-isolation in refugee camps is impossible: you cannot stay at home if you have no home. It is now crucial that the unique needs of the refugee and migrant population are included in the global response to COVID-19.

Transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 to healthcare workers –observational results of a primary care hospital contact tracing

Original article
Canova V, Lederer Schläpfer H, Piso RJ, Droll A, Fenner L, Hoffmann T, Hoffmann M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20257

The current protective measures for healthcare workers, including strict adherence to basic standard hygiene and facemasks, offer considerable protection during short periods of contact with symptomatic COVID-19 cases by diminishing the risk of direct and indirect transmission.

Good rules for ICU admission allow a fair allocation of resources, even in a pandemic

Viewpoint
Suter P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20230

A set of guidelines concerning ethical, medical and social aspects of triage decisions, as well as of other related problems of the COVID-19 pandemic: In all cases, decisions must be based on sound, transparent and understandable rules.

COVID-19 pandemic: triage for intensive-care treatment under resource scarcity

Special article
Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20229

If insufficient resources are available, rationing decisions will become necessary, placing considerable burdens on medical staff. This makes it all the more important that uniform criteria for ICU admission and continued occupancy should be applied throughout Switzerland.

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