How well did Norwegian general practice prepare to address the COVID-19 pandemic?
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Original versionFamily medicine and community health. 2020, 8 (4), e000512 10.1136/fmch-2020-000512
Objectives We aimed to describe the quality improvement measures made by Norwegian general practice (GP) during the COVID-19 pandemic, evaluate the differences in quality improvements based on region and assess the combinations of actions taken. Design Descriptive study. Setting Participants were included after taking part in an online quality improvement COVID-19 course for Norwegian GPs in April 2020. The participants reported whether internal and external measures were in place: COVID-19 sign on entrance, updated home page, access to video consultations and/or electronic written consultations, home office solutions, separate working teams, preparedness for home visits, isolation rooms, knowledge on decontamination, access to sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 clinics. Participants One hundred GP offices were included. The mean number of general practitioners per office was 5.63. Results More than 80% of practices had the following preparedness measures: COVID-19 sign on entrance, updated home page, COVID-19 clinic in the municipality, video and written electronic consultations, knowledge on how to use PPE, and home office solutions for general practitioners. Less than 50% had both PPE and knowledge of decontamination. Lack of PPE was reported by 37%, and 34% reported neither sufficient PPE nor a dedicated COVID-19 clinic. 15% reported that they had an isolation room, but not enough PPE. There were no geographical differences. Conclusions Norwegian GPs in this study implemented many quality improvements to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the largest potentials for improvement seem to be securing sufficient supply of PPE and establishing an isolation room at their practices.