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Changes in work tasks and organization of general practice in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic : results from a comparative international study

(2023) BMC PRIMARY CARE. 24(supplement 1).
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Abstract
BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic led to huge and rapid changes in general practice in Norway as in the rest of Europe. This paper aims to explore to what extent the COVID-19 pandemic changed the work tasks and organization of Norwegian general practice.Material and methodWe analysed data from the Norwegian part of the international, cross-sectional PRICOV-19 study, collecting data from general practice via an online self-reported questionnaire. We included 130 Norwegian general practices, representing an estimated 520 Norwegian general practitioners (GPs). All Norwegian GPs were invited to participate. In the analyses, we focused on items related to the use of alternatives to face-to-face consultations, changes in the workload, tasks and delegated responsibilities of both the GPs and other personnel in the GP offices, adaptations in routines related to hygiene measures, triage of patients, and how the official rules and recommendations affected the practices.ResultsThere was a large and significant increase in the use of all forms of alternative consultation forms (digital text-based, video- and telephone consultations). The use of several different infection prevention measures were significantly increased, and the provision of hand sanitizer to patients increased from 29.6% pre-pandemic to 95.1% since the pandemic. More than half of the GPs (59.5%) reported that their responsibilities in the practice had increased, and 41% were happy with the task shift. 27% felt that they received adequate support from the government; however, 20% reported that guidelines from the government posed a threat to the well-being of the practice staff. We found no associations with the rurality of the practice location or size of the municipalities.ConclusionNorwegian GPs adapted well to the need for increased use of alternatives to face-to-face consultations, and reported a high acceptance of their increased responsibilities. However, only one in four received adequate support from the government, which is an important learning point for similar situations in the future.
Keywords
Family Practice, Primary Health care, General Practice, Norway, PRICOV-19, COVID-19, infection prevention and control, Quality of care, Patient flow management, Primary care workforce

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MLA
Eide, Torunn Bjerve, et al. “Changes in Work Tasks and Organization of General Practice in Norway during the COVID-19 Pandemic : Results from a Comparative International Study.” BMC PRIMARY CARE, vol. 24, no. supplement 1, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023, doi:10.1186/s12875-023-02146-x.
APA
Eide, T. B., Van Poel, E., Willems, S., & Jacobsen, F. F. (2023). Changes in work tasks and organization of general practice in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic : results from a comparative international study. BMC PRIMARY CARE, 24(supplement 1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12875-023-02146-x
Chicago author-date
Eide, Torunn Bjerve, Esther Van Poel, Sara Willems, and Frode F. Jacobsen. 2023. “Changes in Work Tasks and Organization of General Practice in Norway during the COVID-19 Pandemic : Results from a Comparative International Study.” BMC PRIMARY CARE 24 (supplement 1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12875-023-02146-x.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Eide, Torunn Bjerve, Esther Van Poel, Sara Willems, and Frode F. Jacobsen. 2023. “Changes in Work Tasks and Organization of General Practice in Norway during the COVID-19 Pandemic : Results from a Comparative International Study.” BMC PRIMARY CARE 24 (supplement 1). doi:10.1186/s12875-023-02146-x.
Vancouver
1.
Eide TB, Van Poel E, Willems S, Jacobsen FF. Changes in work tasks and organization of general practice in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic : results from a comparative international study. BMC PRIMARY CARE. 2023;24(supplement 1).
IEEE
[1]
T. B. Eide, E. Van Poel, S. Willems, and F. F. Jacobsen, “Changes in work tasks and organization of general practice in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic : results from a comparative international study,” BMC PRIMARY CARE, vol. 24, no. supplement 1, 2023.
@article{01HDXBJF415AQDM1DJMEDA3M5R,
  abstract     = {{BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic led to huge and rapid changes in general practice in Norway as in the rest of Europe. This paper aims to explore to what extent the COVID-19 pandemic changed the work tasks and organization of Norwegian general practice.Material and methodWe analysed data from the Norwegian part of the international, cross-sectional PRICOV-19 study, collecting data from general practice via an online self-reported questionnaire. We included 130 Norwegian general practices, representing an estimated 520 Norwegian general practitioners (GPs). All Norwegian GPs were invited to participate. In the analyses, we focused on items related to the use of alternatives to face-to-face consultations, changes in the workload, tasks and delegated responsibilities of both the GPs and other personnel in the GP offices, adaptations in routines related to hygiene measures, triage of patients, and how the official rules and recommendations affected the practices.ResultsThere was a large and significant increase in the use of all forms of alternative consultation forms (digital text-based, video- and telephone consultations). The use of several different infection prevention measures were significantly increased, and the provision of hand sanitizer to patients increased from 29.6% pre-pandemic to 95.1% since the pandemic. More than half of the GPs (59.5%) reported that their responsibilities in the practice had increased, and 41% were happy with the task shift. 27% felt that they received adequate support from the government; however, 20% reported that guidelines from the government posed a threat to the well-being of the practice staff. We found no associations with the rurality of the practice location or size of the municipalities.ConclusionNorwegian GPs adapted well to the need for increased use of alternatives to face-to-face consultations, and reported a high acceptance of their increased responsibilities. However, only one in four received adequate support from the government, which is an important learning point for similar situations in the future.}},
  articleno    = {{227}},
  author       = {{Eide, Torunn Bjerve and Van Poel, Esther and Willems, Sara and Jacobsen, Frode F.}},
  issn         = {{2731-4553}},
  journal      = {{BMC PRIMARY CARE}},
  keywords     = {{Family Practice,Primary Health care,General Practice,Norway,PRICOV-19,COVID-19,infection prevention and control,Quality of care,Patient flow management,Primary care workforce}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{supplement 1}},
  pages        = {{9}},
  publisher    = {{Springer Science and Business Media LLC}},
  title        = {{Changes in work tasks and organization of general practice in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic : results from a comparative international study}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1186/s12875-023-02146-x}},
  volume       = {{24}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}

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