The safety of patient management in family medicine in Slovenia during Covid-19: a cross-sectional study.

Publication date: Nov 29, 2023

During the Covid-19 pandemic, family medicine practices (FMPs) changed to improve safety against new coronavirus infections for both patients and employees. Protocols for treating patients with suspected Sars-Cov-2 infections were established to protect medical staff and other patients from being infected. However, these protocols also led to increased safety risks, such as delays in treating patients with other medical conditions. This exploratory study aimed to investigate safety risks in treating patients in FMPs during the Covid-19 pandemic and to suggest improvements to prevent Covid-19 in FMPs in Slovenia. A cross-sectional study was rolled out in FMPs in Slovenia as part of the international Pricov-19 study. Data collection on safety management during the Covid-19 pandemic in FMPs in Slovenia took place from November 2020 until January 2021 using a self-administered online survey for FP working in Slovenia. A chi-square test, ANOVA, independent samples t-test or bivariate correlation test was performed to explore associations regarding the safety of patients’ management variables. From the 191 participating family physicians (FPs) (15. 2% response rate), 54. 8% reported having treated patients with fever (not Covid-19) late due to the new protocols at least once, and 54. 8% reported patients with urgent conditions having been seen late at least once due to not coming. In the suburbs and rural environments FPs more often reported that at least once patient with a fever (not Covid-19) was seen late due to the protocol (p = 0. 017) and more often reported that at least once patient with an urgent condition was seen late due to not coming to their FP (p = 0. 017). The larger the practice, the more they reported that at least once a patient with fever (not Covid-19) was seen late due to the protocol (p = 0. 012) and the more they reported at least once a patient with an urgent condition was seen late due to not coming to their FP (p = 0. 012). Covid-19 affected the safety of patient management in FMP in Slovenia. The most common problem was foregone care. Therefor, protocols for chronic patient management in the event of epidemics need to be established.

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Concepts Keywords
Coronavirus General practice
November PRICOV-19
Pandemic Primary health care
Slovenia Quality of care
Staff Timeliness


Type Source Name
disease MESH Covid-19
disease MESH coronavirus infections
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
disease VO ANOVA
disease VO protocol
disease MESH Long Covid
disease MESH infections
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
pathway REACTOME Reproduction
disease VO organization
disease IDO process
disease MESH respiratory tract infection
disease IDO infection
disease IDO country
disease IDO host
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
disease IDO facility
disease MESH functional status
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
disease MESH domestic violence
disease VO frequency
drug DRUGBANK L-Citrulline
drug DRUGBANK Indoleacetic acid
disease VO population
drug DRUGBANK Methotrexate
disease MESH emergency
disease MESH infectious diseases
disease MESH immunocompromised patients
drug DRUGBANK Serine
drug DRUGBANK Aspartame
disease VO time
drug DRUGBANK Ademetionine
disease VO volume
disease MESH Coma
disease IDO quality

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