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A Retrospective Review of COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Strategies at Western Psychiatric Hospital and Subsequent COVID-19 Acquisition

Klousnitzer, Jessie (2021) A Retrospective Review of COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Strategies at Western Psychiatric Hospital and Subsequent COVID-19 Acquisition. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain medical conditions and healthcare settings were shown to be associated with an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Much of the guidance provided by governmental organizations is specifically for congregate settings with no mention of behavioral health settings that serve similarly at-risk populations. Additionally, people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) have higher rates of many of the risk factors for severe illness, in addition to having increased odds for poor health outcomes in general. Special considerations for this group should be made when developing mitigation strategies designed to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Aims: To review the COVID-19 mitigation and testing strategies of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Western Psychiatric Hospital (UPMC WPH) in Pennsylvania with patient outcomes from July 2020 to February 2021.
Methods: A quality improvement study with deidentified patient data from WPH and demographic information obtained from the Wolff Center at UPMC.
Results: During the study period, there were 3,694 total discharges and 3,229 unique patients at WPH. WPH cared for 86 (2.7%) patients who had a positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results, up to 29 (33.7%) of which were determined to have potentially acquired the infection at WPH. A majority of the WPH acquired positive test results did not have a known index case (22/29, 75.9%). As for non-WPH acquired infection, the testing strategy identified 8 asymptomatic positive cases before they were admitted (8/86, 9.3%). Demographic characteristics and medical risk factors were all similar proportions in both the unique patient and positive test group, however, there was a higher proportion of people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders in the positive test group (12.8%) compared to the unique patient group (8.8%).
Conclusion: The testing and mitigation strategies at WPH had successes and gaps that were identified through this review. This review supports the need to tailor safeguards against infectious disease specifically to the populations being served and has strong public health relevance as it can be applied to any healthcare setting, better protecting patients from disease and ultimately improving quality of care and outcomes.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Klousnitzer, Jessiejek179@pitt.edujek179
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGlynn, Nancyepidnwg@pitt.eduepidnwgUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSnyder, Grahamsnydergm3@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberTatar, Janina-Marietatari@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 29 June 2021
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 24 June 2021
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 79
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: behavioral health, COVID, SARS-CoV-2, Mitigation
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2021 13:30
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2021 13:30


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