Publication date: Sep 21, 2023
Outpatient care patterns have changed markedly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this population-based retrospective cohort study, we compared the frequency of outpatient care (whether in-person or virtual) and continuity of care for all community-dwelling adults in Alberta between March 1, 2019 and February 29, 2020 (pre-pandemic) versus March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 (pandemic). We calculated provider continuity using Breslau’s Usual Provider Continuity (UPC) for patients with at least 2 outpatient encounters. In 2019-20, 594,350 (98. 4%) of 603,877 community-dwelling adults with ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) had [Formula: see text] 1 outpatient visit (median 8 visits, mean UPC score 0. 61, SD 0. 23), compared to 566,569 (98. 6%) of 574,613 (median 8 visits, mean UPC score 0. 67, SD 0. 23) during the first year of the pandemic. Similar patterns were seen for adults without ACSC: 2,207,710 (93. 9%) of 2,350,147 had [Formula: see text] 1 outpatient visit (median 3 visits, mean UPC score 0. 61, SD 0. 24) pre-pandemic compared to 2,113,239 (93. 5%, median 4 visits, mean UPC 0. 67, SD 0. 24) in the first year of the pandemic. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic did not impact frequency of follow-up while continuity of care improved both for patients with or without ACSC in Alberta, Canada.
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|disease||MESH||chronic obstructive pulmonary disease|