Short Report - Special Collection: COVID-19

Analysis of a SARS-CoV-2 daily screening programme for healthcare workers at a district hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, a quality improvement initiativ

Amy Booth, Ridwaan A. Omed, Mergan Naidoo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2525 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2525 | © 2020 Amy Booth, Ridwaan A. Omed, Mergan Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 May 2020 | Published: 01 September 2020

About the author(s)

Amy Booth, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Ridwaan A. Omed, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Mergan Naidoo, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused an unprecedented burden on our healthcare systems and workers. Healthcare workers are at risk of contracting and spreading SARS-CoV-2 given their proximity to positive cases, often with a lack of personal protective equipment. The South African Department of Health requires that all employees be screened daily for symptoms and potential persons under investigation identified timeously. This report aims to assesses the efficacy of daily self-screening tools in detecting and managing potential staff cases of SARS-CoV-2. Our hospital, situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, developed a daily self-screening tool for all healthcare workers to complete, consisting of questions on symptoms and epidemiological risk factors. The screening tools were collected and assessed after four weeks of use. Fifty-four forms were assessed. Twenty-eight (51.9%) forms were not completed, whilst 12 (22.2%) indicated positive symptoms with no documentation that any further medical assessment, testing or isolation was done. We identified that the poor completion of forms was likely because of the lack of education of staff on the importance of the forms, poor oversight by management, staff forgetfulness or lack of awareness of the forms. Screening of staff is vital during this pandemic but requires constant oversight by line managers, staff motivation and adequate education. Ongoing development of efficient screening programmes is required.

Keywords

SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; healthcare workers; self-screening; occupational health; public health

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