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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


DIAZ-QUIJANO, Fredi Alexander; VILLAR-CENTENO, Luis Angel  and  MARTINEZ-VEGA, Ruth Aralí. Reducing hospitalization with the use of a dengue management algorithm in Colombia. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.30, n.3, pp.248-254. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: Assess the impact of a dengue management algorithm on the hospitalization rate of patients with suspected disease in a primary care health facility in an endemic area of Colombia. METHODS: A quasi-experimental study was conducted at the local hospital in Piedecuesta, Santander, Colombia, based on comparison of two periods (18 weeks each), before and after use of the algorithm. This included recommendations for clinical diagnosis of dengue and the planning of follow-up visits and hemograms, as well as criteria for hospitalization and the discontinuation of follow-up. Hospitalization rates in the two periods were compared using the Poisson analysis. The population analyzed consisted of patients seen in the facility for acute febrile syndrome. For adjustment purposes, the number of dengue cases (IgM positive) identified in the municipality was included. RESULTS: Information was obtained on 964 patients in the first period and 1350 patients in the second. There were 44 and 13 hospitalizations during the respective periods. Use of the algorithm was associated with a significant reduction in the hospitalization rate (ratio: 0.21; 95% confidence interval; 0.11-0.39). This association did not change when adjusted for the number of dengue cases identified in the city. There were no significant differences in the rate of follow-up visits (P = 0.85) and hemograms (P = 0.24) in the two periods. There were no case fatalities. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that health care resources for dengue management can be optimized with the use of the algorithm.

Keywords : Dengue; early diagnosis; therapeutics; decision support techniques; hospitalization; fever of unknown origin; Colombia.

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