An influential panel of infectious disease experts have told US hospitals to stop testing all new admissions for Covid.
They argue that the testing is coming at too high a cost for patients and providers and are now discouraging hospitals from burdensome testing which adds to hospital wait times and crowding as well as the financial burden.
Revised guidelines from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America has reversed their early pandemic guidance, where hospitals were told to keep close tabs on who arrived with the virus.
The Mail Online reports: But such a policy has little to no benefit when other mitigation measures such as masking and proper ventilation are followed, and increases the cost burden on healthcare systems.
The panel included mention of studies that show pre-admission screening can actually hamper a patient’s ability to get the care they need and does little to prevent transmission.
This change comes as there are hopes America’s ‘tripledemic’ of the flu, Covid and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is finally receding.
These experts also noted that a hospital policy of universal Covid testing creates a ripple effect of delays in emergency departments with patients.
Having to test before receiving care leads to longer wait times in the hospital.
Facilities dealing with an influx of flu, RSV, and Covid patients cannot afford to have an over-crowded emergency department with people who cannot access specialized care.
The panel wrote: ‘The use of asymptomatic screening is a unique yet resource-intensive tool that arguably has been overused.