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Using Health Services Research to Address the Unique Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on the health care workforce; more than 130 million cases of COVID-19 and nearly 3 million deaths have been recorded worldwide as of April 1, 2021.1 To reduce health care resource utilization and increase the expected need for critical care capacity as COVID-19 cases surged, surgical care was dramatically interrupted, with more than 28 million elective surgeries canceled worldwide.2 In response to the major disruptions of surgical care, the Surgical Outcomes Club assembled a 3-part panel to highlight key ways in which the surgical health services research community responded. This Viewpoint serves to disseminate mechanisms for how surgical outcomes researchers can contribute to (1) safely delivering evidence-based surgical care during the pandemic, (2) accelerating the path to health equity in the wake of disparities provoked by the pandemic, and (3) using the unique conditions of the pandemic as a natural experiment to define the future of surgical care delivery.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Corresponding Author: Rachel E. Patzer, PhD, MPH, Health Services Research Center, Departments of Medicine and Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, 101 Woodruff Cir, Atlanta, GA 30322 (rpatzer@emory.edu).

Published Online: May 21, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.2597

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Additional Contributions: We thank the panel members Aneel Bhangu, MBChB, PhD, and Joana Simões, MBChB, University of Birmingham (UK), Oluwadamilola Fayanju, MD, MA, MPHS, Duke University School of Medicine, and Chad Ellimoottil, MD, MS, University of Michigan, for participating and allowing us to present their views in this article. They were not compensated for their contributions.

References
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Johns Hopkins University. Coronavirus resource center. Published February 1, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/
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COVIDSurg Collaborative.  Mortality and pulmonary complications in patients undergoing surgery with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international cohort study.   Lancet. 2020;396(10243):27-38. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31182-XPubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery. About CovidSurg. Published 2021. Accessed March 30, 2021. https://globalsurg.org/covidsurg
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Prakash  I , Thomas  SM , Greenup  RA ,  et al.  Time to surgery among women treated with neoadjuvant systemic therapy and upfront surgery for breast cancer.   Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2021;186(2):535-550. doi:10.1007/s10549-020-06012-7PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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National Institutes for Health. National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C). Published 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://ncats.nih.gov/n3c
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