From the Document: "The current global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is unprecedented and has stressed healthcare systems worldwide. Healthcare resources that are scarce include tests for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), personal protective equipment (PPE), hospital equipment (ventilators), hospital capacity, and healthcare workers (HCWs), particularly those trained to care for the critically ill. Unfortunately, amid the pandemic and these shortages, anxiety and fear are rampant, fueled by real risk and amplified by the 24-hour news feed and social media. The risk of acquiring infection is innate to health care; it always has been and, for the foreseeable future, will continue to be. Therefore, effective infection prevention practices are paramount to both ensuring safety and combatting fear. However, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, deviations in proven preventative measures and standard care are common. Variations in PPE use (eg, utilizing N95 respirators for minimal risk encounters) or deferring critical, life-saving procedures (ie, due to lack of confidence in validated diagnostic test performance or PPE efficacy) increase the overall risk to HCWs and patients alike. The reason these variations exist must be explored, and we postulate fear as a significant factor."
2020 Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Posted here with permission. Document is under a Creative Commons license and requires proper attribution and noncommercial use to be shared: [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/]
Cambridge University Press: https://www.cambridge.org/