COVID19 has created unprecedented crisis and challenges particularly to the health care setting where it has given significant blow to the existing "Doctor-Patient" relationship.
Particularly in India, where we would have seen images of "No calls / No messages / No WhatsApp consultation" in OPD clinics of many doctors owing to the legal issues related to this type of "Teleconsultations", The Board of Governors (Medical Council of India) was very quick to formulate and publish the "Telemedicine Practice Guidelines"(TPG) dated March 25th, 2020 - on the first day of the nation wide lockdown.
The journey of Pulmonology teleconsultations at our institution began in the month of April, 2020 with the intention of providing “safe health care” to the chest symptomatics. As we all know, cough/fever/breathing difficulty are the principal symptoms one looks for Pulmonologist - and unfortunately the same symptoms also represent COVID19. Therefore, patient safety posed a significant challenge which remained the driving force to initiate the program.
And today, in very short time frame, we reached 100th Pulmonology teleconsultation. In my experience, patients & relatives appeared relatively happier and expressed less complaints then their earlier formal OPD consultations. I gained insights on their daily living, their practical limitations and ingenious solutions - elaboration of which is beyond the purpose of this blog.
Here I am writing this blog to share few practical points to smoothen the teleconsultation for betterment of patient care.
I would like to conclude from my experience that Teleconsultation has been proved to be a boon for patients by providing them care while keeping them safe.
- Dr. Jaykumar Mehta
MBBS (Gold Medalist)
MD, DNB, MNAMS, PD Fellow (Pulmonology)
Consultant Interventional Pulmonologist (Zydus Hospital, Ahmedabad)