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Virtual care for public hospitals in the context of a pandemic

Virtual care for public hospitals in the context of a pandemic

In March 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. In Argentina, isolation measures and sanitary protocols began to apply to reduce the transmission of the disease. Specifically in hospitals, despite the effort, infections were recorded from patients who attended the guards and medical controls for other reasons. Aware of this situation, we developed a virtual healthcare system that helps decompress hospital care and protects both patients and healthcare personnel from exposure to the virus.

The development, called Guardia en Línea, was made available to the country's public hospitals. In Bariloche it began to be implemented gradually in the Dr. Ramón Carrillo Zonal Hospital, through the Medical Orientation area who define the referral for virtual care.

The system allows you to consult and chat with doctors on duty, or carry out a preliminary COVID-19 self-assessment from your cell phone. It is not necessary to download a mobile application, it only requires having internet. It also orders the consultations by priority according to the severity of the symptoms and previous illnesses indicated by the patients.

On the other hand, the panel from which the doctors handle the consultations allows an integrated work among the professionals. This is of great help in a context that tends to disaggregate efforts and in which physicians are often working independently from their personal contacts.

Online medical care, in addition to allowing the care of patients and doctors, facilitates the continuity of health services. Since isolated doctors can continue to care and patients who do not suffer from serious conditions, resolve their doubts through remote interaction.

These types of digital solutions do not replace face-to-face consultations, but they complement them by improving the experience of citizens, and they can be maintained once the pandemic has passed.

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