Skip to main content

Table 2 Workload, Referrals and Wait times

From: Interprofessional primary care during COVID-19: a survey of the provider perspective

  Frequency (%) Experience working in primary care during COVID-19
Change in Hours since Covid-19 (n = 417)
 Yes-Increased 41 (9.8) “I am working from home, and working 6–7 h/day 5 days/week, when my contract is only 3 days per week. I am on the phone almost all day every day supporting patients who are extremely anxious, depressed and scared by the COVID pandemic.”
 Yes-Decreased 36 (8.6) “Extremely quiet as very few actual patients in the building and staff hours on rotation.”
 No 340 (81.5) “I’ve been fortunate to immediately been able to work remotely at home, maintaining my hours and patient-contact.”
Received Virtual care training (n = 387)
 Yes 155 (40.1) “There was a document formulated by a FHT chiropodist to help guide telephone visits which has been very helpful.”
  No   “No initial training in tele health therefore having to figure it out for myself.”
Would have liked to receive additional training (n = 376)
 Yes 216 (57.4) “It’s been a massive learning curve that I don’t personally or professionally feel prepared for.”
Redeployed (n = 386)
 Yes 79 (20.5) “I am a screener on a Family Health Team 1 day.”
“Role has been redefined to assist with the pandemic ie swabbing for disease.”
Continuing to provide services to patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19? (n = 384)
 Yes 57 (14.8)  
Service type change since COVID-19? (n = 361)
 Yes 233 (64.5) “I have had to advocate for my role to change to be more of a check-in with vulnerable people.”
Change in referral pathway (n = 364)?
 Yes 57 (15.7)  
Nature of Referral Pathway (n = 366)
 First contact (direct patient booking) 48 (13.1) “I have taken over managing my own referrals so do all the first contact calls, scheduling, forwarding resources, scheduling follow-ups, etc.”
 Referral from most responsible provider 287 (78.4) “I have no referrals because the physicians are not seeing as many people.”
 Referral from nursing or other health care provider 9 (2.5)  
 Other 22 (6.0) “We are doing calls to the wait list. New referrals are being contacted within 2–4 wks for a triage call.”
Wait times prior to Covid-19 (n = 365)
 Same day 28 (7.7)  
 Less than 1 week 81 (22.2)  
 1–2 weeks 91 (24.9)  
  > 2–4 weeks 71 (19.5)  
  > 4–6 weeks 50 (13.7)  
  > 6–8 weeks 17 (4.7)  
  > 8–10 weeks 8 (2.2)  
  > 10–12 weeks 19 (5.2)  
Wait time since Covid-19 (n = 362)
 Same day 73 (20.2) “Referrals have dramatically dropped. Many patients have preferred to postpone their follow-ups until in-person appointments are available again.”
“Significant reduction in referral volume as primary care physicians are seeing less patients than prior to COVID-19.”
“More consults to follow-up with patients.”
“Still busy and demand for services.”
 Less than 1 week 116 (32.0)
 1–2 weeks 84 (23.2)
  > 2–4 weeks 47 (13.0)
  > 4–6 weeks 12 (3.3)
  > 6–8 weeks 7 (1.9)
  > 8–10 weeks 5 (1.4)
  > 10–12 weeks 18 (5.0)