• Post-acute long-term care COVID-19 medication optimization survey: Informing medication management initiatives.

      Kim, Catherine; Francis, Emily; Kim, Woo Ree; Brandt, Nicole (Elsevier, 2022-02-14)
      The Medication Management Guide (MMG) provides guidance on strategies to optimize medication management in PA-LTC and simplify administration to reduce the transmission risk of COVID-19. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the utility of the MMG, determine the barriers and facilitators of the MMG implementation in PALTC sites to help inform future research and initiatives. Individuals who accessed MMG during the pandemic (April 2020-March 2021) were contacted to elicit feedback on this tool via an online survey. The survey response rate was 7.7% (156/2,018) after three rounds of emails. Respondents consisted of 31% (n=49) pharmacists, 27% (n=42) physicians, 11% (n=18) nurses, and 12% (n=19) nurse practitioners. The “Other” respondents (11%, n=17) included dieticians (n=4), physician assistants (n=3), pharmacy technicians (n=3), students (n=1), consultants (n=1), and educators (n=2). From these respondents, 77% (n=122) took tactics to optimize medications at their facilities during COVID-19.
    • The potential effects of deploying SARS-Cov-2 vaccines on cold storage capacity and immunization workload in countries of the WHO African Region

      Ortiz, Justin R; Robertson, Joanie; Hsu, Jui-Shan; Yu, Stephen L; Driscoll, Amanda J; Williams, Sarah R; Chen, Wilbur H; Fitzpatrick, Meagan C; Sow, Samba; Biellik, Robin J; et al. (Elsevier Ltd., 2021-02-19)
      Background: SARS-CoV-2 vaccines will be deployed to countries with limited immunization systems. Methods: We assessed the effect of deploying SARS-Cov-2 vaccines on cold storage capacity and immunization workload in a simulated WHO African Region country using region-specific data on immunization, population, healthcare workers (HCWs), cold storage capacity (quartile values for national and subnational levels), and characteristics of an approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. We calculated monthly increases in vaccine doses, doses per vaccinator, and cold storage volumes for four-month SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaigns targeting risk groups compared to routine immunization baselines. Results: Administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to risk groups would increase total monthly doses by 27.0% for ≥ 65 years, 91.7% for chronic diseases patients, and 1.1% for HCWs. Assuming median nurse density estimates adjusted for absenteeism and proportion providing immunization services, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaigns would increase total monthly doses per vaccinator by 29.3% for ≥ 65 years, 99.6% for chronic diseases patients, and 1.2% for HCWs. When we applied quartiles of actual African Region country vaccine storage capacity, routine immunization vaccine volumes exceeded national-level storage capacity for at least 75% of countries, but subnational levels had sufficient storage capacity for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for at least 75% of countries. Conclusions: In the WHO African Region, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaigns would substantially increase doses per vaccinator and cold storage capacity requirements over routine immunization baselines. Pandemic vaccination campaigns would increase storage requirements of national-level stores already at their limits, but sufficient capacity exists at subnational levels. Immediate attention to strengthening immunization systems is essential to support pandemic responses. © 2021 The Authors