Can a simple risk score tool accurately predict outpatients with COVID-19 who do not subsequently require any laboratory testing or imaging?
A simple risk score derived by the authors uses only age, dyspnea, and comorbidity to accurately identify more than 60% of patients with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 as being at low risk — and does so without the burden of additional testing. The LOCH risk score is available online as a free app.
Plan de l'etude:
Decision rule (validation)
Self-funded or unfunded
These investigators previously developed 2 risk scoring tools to help identify outpatients with COVID-19 who are at risk of hospitalization. In this follow-up study, the investigators assessed all outpatients, 12 years or older, with a diagnosis of COVID-19 by polymerase chain reaction from December 20, 2021, to January 7, 2022, during the Omicron phase of the pandemic. This Omicron cohort consisted of 6138 patients with at least 2 weeks of follow-up and a 1.9% overall rate of hospitalization. The authors developed 4 logistic regression models, with each model classifying at least half the patients in a low-risk group. One risk score tool, the Lehigh Outpatient COVID Hospitalization (LOCH), maximally classified more than 60% of patients in the low-risk group and only required age, dyspnea, and any comorbidity, without the need for any laboratory testing or imaging. In addition, the LOCH tool does not require an in-person evaluation.
David C. Slawson, MD
Professor and Vice Chair of Family Medicine for Education and Scholarship
Professor of Family Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill