Data Show the Rate of Acquiring COVID-19 During Hospital Stay Is Significantly Lower Than Expected

Jeff Trinkl, MD, director of clinical informatics at Epic, and Caleb Cox, data scientist at Epic, explain that only about 1.8% of patients contracted COVID-19 during a hospital stay at the highest peak of cases in December 2020.

Pharmacy Times interviewed Jeff Trinkl, MD, director of clinical informatics at Epic, and Caleb Cox, data scientist at Epic, to discuss the results of a study that showed that despite a national reluctance to go to the hospital or emergency department due to concerns about contracting COVID-19, the rates of acquiring COVID-19 during a hospital stay were actually quite low, with only about 1.8% of patients contracting COVID-19 during their stay at the highest peak of cases in December 2020.

During the interview, Trinkl discussed the impetus for this study investigating the frequency with which patients developed COVID-19 while hospitalized, whether the research may have been impacted by patients who might have been positive on admission to the hospital but tested negative at that time due to a lower viral load, why the rate of patients developing COVID-19 while hospitalized might be so low, what the implications of these study results are on trends in hospital admissions, and whether hospitals would be able to handle increased admissions if patients begin to return to the hospital for non-COVID related appointments.