Impact of COVID-19 outbreak on cardiology outpatient visits at a Vietnamese tertiary general hospital
Background: COVID-19 is a rising health problem that affects not only the infected patients but also the non-COVID-19 group. There is a reduction of non-COVID-19 healthcare services during COVID-19 outbreaks which leads to subsequent increment of mortality. This study aims to investigate the impact of the fourth COVID-19 surge on the cardiology outpatient visits at Nhan dan Gia Dinh hospital.
Method: A retrospective observational study was conducted using extracted data from the healthcare informative system of Nhan dan Gia Dinh hospital. Monthly trends of cardiology outpatient visits between May 1st, 2021 to August 31st, 2021 were compared with those of the previous four months and the same period of the year 2020. The demographic characteristics, diagnoses, and prescription behavior were described.
Results: Non-COVID-19 cardiology outpatient visits showed a stable trend until the beginning of the fourth outbreak, in May 2021 when they dropped drastically by 50%. A reduction of 50% was observed in every diagnosis. There was a substantial decrease in visits from other provinces as well as in the concurrent diagnosis of cancer. No change in the rates of prescribed medications was observed besides the lengthening of the prescription time.
Conclusion: The fourth COVID-19 wave caused a serious impact on cardiology outpatient care which might lead to an adverse prognosis. Though there has been some adaptive modification in prescription, this phenomenon calls for more attention and adequate measurements in the non-COVID-19 population for the later outbreaks.