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Table 3 Summary of issues identified and recommended solutions

From: The post COVID-19 healthcare landscape and the use of long-acting injectable antipsychotics for individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder: the importance of an integrated collaborative-care approach

Issue Solution
Individuals with SCZ, BP-I, or other severe mental illness are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and associated morbidity and mortality. A fully integrated, collaborative-care model is the most important aspect of care for individuals with SCZ or BP-I during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to prioritize COVID-19 vaccination in individuals with serious mental illness [31].
COVID-19 infection control measures have led to reduced access to out-patient, in-hospital, and group-based psychiatric care for individuals with severe mental illness. Mental healthcare services are adapting to facilitate access to care with increased use of telehealth and home-based treatment [9]. Potential positive effects of COVID-19 pandemic-related healthcare service changes include expanded reimbursement of telehealth and at-home treatment options, increased acceptance of LAIs, and an increased focus on shared decision making [9].
Maintenance of LAI treatment for individuals with severe mental illness has been managed inconsistently within healthcare. APA guidance encourages ongoing use of LAIs for people with high-risk chronic illness as a necessary procedure during the COVID-19 pandemic [21]. Implementing clinical workflows to provide consistent, in-person LAI injection services includes: screening individuals for COVID-19 exposure and infection, staggering individual appointment times, supplying hand sanitizer, rearranging and expanding the individual waiting area to ensure social distancing and expand individual capacity, ensuring that injecting nurses wear masks and gloves, providing masks for individuals, and discussing the importance of continued in-person visits for LAIs so that staff can share that information with individuals, their caregivers, and families [22].
  1. APA American Psychiatric Association, BP-I bipolar I disorder, LAI long-acting injectable antipsychotics, SCZ schizophrenia