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Quality of Respiratory Infection Disease Prevention in Outpatient and Emergency Departments in Hospitals in Inner Mongolia, China: An Exit Poll Survey

Authors Xie Y, McNeil E, Fan Y, Chongsuvivatwong V, Zhao X, Sriplung H

Received 7 February 2020

Accepted for publication 21 May 2020

Published 2 June 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 501—508


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto

Yijing Xie,1,2 Edward McNeil,2 Yancun Fan,1 Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong,2 Xingsheng Zhao,3 Hutcha Sriplung2

1Health Management Faculty and Research Institute for Health Policy of Inner Mongolia, Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, People’s Republic of China; 2Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand; 3Inner Mongolia People’s Hospital, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Hutcha Sriplung
Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, 15 Kanchanawanit Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110, Thailand
Tel +66 7 445 1165
Fax +66 7 442 9754

Purpose: Measures to prevent respiratory infection diseases (RIDs) in hospitals are important to protect both patients and physicians. In 2003, an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome occurred in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) of China. We aimed to evaluate competency in RID prevention procedures in terms of hospital performance and physician behavior.
Patients and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in 10 tertiary general public hospitals in 3 cities of IMAR. In each hospital, we chose the respiratory and ear–nose–throat outpatient departments (OPDs) and the emergency department (ED) to invite patients with symptoms of cough to join the study before they consulted a physician. After their consultation, we asked the patients to complete a checklist to score the performance of the departments and the behavior of their physicians in terms of RID prevention practices according to international professional guidelines.
Results: From 711 respondents, in the domain of hospital performance, display of posters on directive to wash hands after coughing/sneezing had an average score of 0.452 (range 0– 1), while other cough etiquette items had scores averaging between 0.33 and 0.39. The average score for air ventilation was 0.66. For physicians’ performance, informing patients the location of handwashing facilities scored the highest (0.62), while low scores were seen for offering a mask to coughing patients (0.14) and encouraging coughing patients to distance themselves from others (0.17). Most RID prevention procedures received low scores in EDs in both hospital performance and physician behavior domains.
Conclusion: Hospitals in IMAR should improve their performance in RID prevention procedures, especially in giving information to RID patients through the display of posters. The practice of physicians in preventing respiratory infection spread was suboptimum. ED staff and hospital administrators should improve their procedures to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, especially given the increasing occurrences of global pandemics such as COVID-19.

Keywords: hospital performance, physician behavior, spread of respiratory infections, real patients survey

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