Development and presentation of an objective risk stratification tool for healthcare workers when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: risk modelling based on hospitalisation and mortality statistics compared with epidemiological data
Strain, W. D.
Davies, A. P.
Rights© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
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OBJECTIVES: Healthcare workers have greater exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and an estimated 2.5-fold increased risk of contracting COVID-19 than the general population. We wished to explore the predictive role of basic demographics to establish a simple tool that could help risk stratify healthcare workers. SETTING: We undertook a review of the published literature (including multiple search strategies in MEDLINE with PubMed interface) and critically assessed early reports on preprint servers. We explored the relative risk of mortality from readily available demographics to identify the population at the highest risk. RESULTS: The published studies specifically assessing the risk of healthcare workers had limited demographics available; therefore, we explored the general population in the literature. Clinician demographics: Mortality increased with increasing age from 50 years onwards. Male sex at birth, and people of black and minority ethnicity groups had higher susceptibility to both hospitalisation and mortality. Comorbid disease. Vascular disease, renal disease, diabetes and chronic pulmonary disease further increased risk. Risk stratification tool: A risk stratification tool was compiled using a white female aged <50 years with no comorbidities as a reference. A point allocated to risk factors was associated with an approximate doubling in risk. This tool provides numerical support for healthcare workers when determining which team members should be allocated to patient facing clinical duties compared with remote supportive roles. CONCLUSIONS: We generated a tool that provides a framework for objective risk stratification of doctors and healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, without requiring disclosure of information that an individual may not wish to share with their direct line manager during the risk assessment process. This tool has been made freely available through the British Medical Association website and is widely used in the National Health Service and other external organisations.
CitationBMJ Open. 2021 Sep 16;11(9):e042225. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042225.