Teachings After COVID-19 Outbreak From a Survey of Family Physicians.

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Since December 2019, the dramatic escalation in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases worldwide has had a significant impact on health care systems. Family physicians (FPs) have played a critical role in the coordination of care.In April 2020, we performed an online prospective survey to assess the impact of the pandemic on FPs’ practices.Three hundred FPs were included. Mean age was 53.6 ± 13.5 years. Before the pandemic, 60.2% reported >75 outpatient visits/week, which reduced down to an average of <20/week for 79.8% of FPs; 24.2% of FPs discontinued home visits, while for 94.7% of FPs there was a >50% increase in the number of telephone consultations. Concern related to the risk of contagion was elevated (≥3/5 in 74.6%) and even higher to the risk of infecting relatives and patients (≥3/5 in 93.3%). The majority of FPs (87%) supported the role of telemedicine in the near future. Satisfaction regarding the network with hospitals/COVID-19-dedicated wards received a score ≤2/5 in 46.9% of cases.The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the working practices of FPs. A collaboration is needed with well-established networks between FPs and referral centers to provide new insights and opportunities to inform future working practices.

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Authors: Marco Toselli, Ignazio Palazzi, Martina Lambertini, Andrea Maurizzi, Alberto Cereda, Arif Khokhar, Stefano Landi, Fabrizio Toscano, Giovanni Marasco