Healthcare professional presenteeism during a covid-19 outbreak in an australian rural healthcare environment: A case analysis

Kathleen Tori, Thi Thuy Ha Dinh, Carey Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural Australia is well documented. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the precariousness of human healthcare resources within small rural communities. The external disaster of the COVID-19 outbreak described in this case analysis exacerbated the frail balance of sustaining adequate staffing levels and skill mix, which exposed behaviours of presenteeism within rural healthcare teams. An analysis of the complex of factors that led to the first nosocomial outbreak of COVID-19 within a healthcare environment in Australia demonstrates how rural healthcare environments are ill-equipped to meet the demands of unexpected external disasters. Using the Haddon Matrix to examine the factors that led to this outbreak provides us with the opportunity to learn from the case analysis. Health professional presenteeism contributed to the North West Tasmania COVID-19 outbreak and affected the hospital and health service provision within the region. Recommendations to mitigate risk for future disaster planning in rural healthcare environments include improved infection control strategies and a whole-community approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8336
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Community
  • Health
  • Presenteeism
  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Rural
  • Workforce

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