Perception of Healthcare Providers in Agile Environment Imposed By the COVID-19 Pandemic at Physical Rehabilitation Department KFSH&RC, Riyadh SA
Background: Nearly nine months have passed since the emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARSCoV-2), which caused the rapidly spreading Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In Saudi Arabia, unprecedented precautionary strict measures were applied to prevent virus entry to the country or to mitigate its impact when it arrives. The physical rehabilitation is the 3rd largest profession in the area of healthcare and is the most representative profession in the area of Rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia. Physical rehabilitation services provide the development, maintenance, and recovery of people’s movement and functional ability, improving their quality of life. In this way, many hospitalized patients in the acute phase of COVID-19, as well as chronic patients, need physical rehabilitation services. This study aimed to determine the number of therapists/clinicians who interrupted their services because of the COVID-19 pandemic and to verify the procedures adopted by the therapists/clinicians to continue serving and supporting their patients.
Methods: The sample comprised 46 therapists/clinicians who worked in KFSH & RC, 19 (41.4%) males and 27 (58.6%) females. The measurement instrument was an on-line survey questionnaire applied in mid July 2020 through email.
Results: 37 (80.4%) therapists/clinicians interrupted their work activities because of the pandemic and 9 (19.6%) continue with the existing daily practice. The number of patients seen/day before pandemic decreased compare to pre pandemic, in arrange of 15 patients/day to zero patient/day, that led to change the way of therapists daily practice such as seven therapists shifted their clinics to virtual clinics, and almost most of the therapists (n= 32) continue working in inpatient ward, taking in their considerations the main measures that was adopted by the organization, when they deal with the direct patient contact which included: hand washing, mask use, material disinfection and gloves. The three administrative respondents work on quality issues, managerial guidelines and research. While the four orthotics/ prosthetics clinicians shiftedtheir work to fabricate medical supportive devices to be used for the patients.
Conclusions: Our data revealed that most of the therapists/ clinicians interrupted their regular work , impact number patient seen per day and face-to-face practices because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, half of the respondents continue with their existing work and taking into their considerations the measured that were adapted by the organization, the others who did not follow up their patients’ treatment in person, most of them adapted to monitor their patients from a distance by using virtual visits.