New quarantine options: where can the patient get help online?



New quarantine options: where can the patient get help online?

All this in order to reduce the burden on doctors on the “front line”, as well as so that citizens have no additional reason to leave their home during quarantine

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine has launched an online consultation platform for Ukrainian doctors working in intensive care with more experienced colleagues – the main anesthetists in the country. This was announced during a briefing by Minister of Health Maxim Stepanov. According to him, at present, seven expert anesthesiologists and more than 100 health establishments are registered on the platform, in which patients with coronavirus are treated. For doctors, this is a great opportunity to get professional advice – how to behave in a particular case. But patients also need such advice now. For them, in addition to the hotline on the websites of the Ministry of Health and the Cabinet of Ministers, many platforms have recently been created where you can get advice online – and not only on COVID-19.

Online help from Dnipro doctors for all of Ukraine

On the latest of these initiatives, ex-Minister Dmitry Dubilet said on his Facebok page: “We have launched a free medical contact center where you can get advice on the coronavirus. You can get there by calling 0800 301 131 or get a chat consultation via Telegram (@JmcMedHelpBot) or Viber (viber: // pa? ChatURI = jmcmedhelp). You can consult on all questions concerning the coronavirus: symptoms, prevention, necessary actions. Doctors at the JMC Medical Center advise. “

By contacting the number indicated, we learned that the line was organized by the Jewish community of Dnipro with the support of the JMC clinic, where consultants and doctors work for the whole of Ukraine. A client who suspects symptoms of a coronavirus infection is in a state of panic or has a question about the effect of social standards related to quarantine, for example on transportation work, is assisted by doctors or operators qualified. The contact center operates 24 hours a day – both by phone and via Viber or Telegram.

New quarantine options: where can the patient get help online?

… so that it becomes a usual norm to get a consultation from a doctor comfortably seated at home, and not to rush somewhere online

Project manager Yulia Guseva in Ukrinform’s comment adds that the contact center is designed for both doctors and patients. The advantage is that patients and doctors can communicate from any convenient location (at home / in their spare time). Today, a dozen doctors give consultations, but it is possible to increase the number of specialists if necessary. Asked whether the center’s specialists will send the Ministry of Health or the Public Health Center information on the treatment of patients suspected of COVID-19, Yulia Guseva replied that they had not yet considered such a possibility. , but that they will consider it for the future. In the first days after launch, they received about 50 phone calls and about the same number of conversations (Viber and Telegram).

We also ask what effect the initiators of the contact center expect. “The best effect, of course, when everyone is healthy. But, first of all, we set ourselves the goal: to help recognize symptoms, confidence and prompt help from a doctor or emergency care. We want this to become the usual norm for us to see a doctor while drinking tea or coffee, sitting comfortably on the sofa, or talking about cold sore drops while you get home or take a taxi. Instead of running to the hospital and spending time online, ”says the project manager.

Fifty doctors meet online to help local colleagues

Fifty Ukrainian doctors from various specialties joined the Facebook community of the Club of Conscious Ukrainian Physicians to help patients during a pandemic. Doctors are ready to consult remotely via Viber, WhatsApp, Skype (calls – in extreme cases), so they provided their phones with free access. Consultations are free for everyone, regardless of place of residence, social status, religion, language and opinions, etc.

New quarantine options: where can the patient get help online?

Doctors teamed up for free remote patient counseling / Facebook community design

Why are online specialist consultations important? As part of the spread of infection, it is best not to go to the hospital again, which is a potentially dangerous source of infection and responds only to emergency situations. In addition, there are now groups of people who are disconnected from help due to quarantine – for example, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, people with low immunity and others. “We do it only of our own free will and risk, it is our contribution to the stabilization of the epidemic situation that is brewing in our country, it is a manifestation of our public responsibility,” said the doctors in a statement. They all work in different institutions, but are united by the desire to contribute to the fight against common enemies: the virus, panic, low activity and public awareness and lack of medical care.

The purpose of these free consultations is:

  • the selection of severe patients for whom medical care is really vital is necessary on the part of citizens suffering from a cold (today, the risk / safety ratio is “1/99”, that is to say that only 1 in 100 patients really need to see a doctor or call an ambulance, 99 others – at the time of the consultation, nothing is in danger).
  • fight panic and inform people of the need for home isolation.

“We are trying to reduce the peak load on medical institutions so that our colleagues do not“ lay bones ”at their place of work: in isolation rooms and intensive care units. No health system in the world is able to accept all patients at the same time during a pandemic. We reassure patients by competently explaining which symptoms of the diseases are dangerous and which are not, we give advice based on the data that can be obtained from the gadgets, ”says the medical community.

From the experience of online consultation, the following facts are also cited:

  • in 99% of the calls, personal contact with doctors was clearly not necessary;
  • in 80% of patients, there is a panic or a common neurosis: “pain in the heart”, “the body burns” (at tº 37.2), feeling of lump in the throat or compression in the chest on the bottom full health;
  • in 5 days, we processed almost 35,000 requests, but signs of a possible coronavirus infection were only detected in 11 patients, in other cases, there was a cold or these types of FLU which, most often do not threaten life and will certainly be treated at home.

The contacts of family physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, neuropathologists, ENT specialists, obstetricians-gynecologists, orthopedic trauma specialists, dermatologists and other specialists can be found on this link.

Where can I get advice?

The team at the “Plych-O-Plych” medical center in Lviv also found their initiative in online help. There are 18 specialists working there – family physicians, surgeons, therapists, neurologists, cardiologist, ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, cardiologist, pediatrician, trauma specialist, emergency physicians who are ready to provide advice and recommendations to anyone who contacts Viber by calling 068 016 0016.

Kyivstar and Doctor Online mobile health monitoring service launched their own cat robot in the Viber messenger. In the bot, several options will be available for users:

  • download the Doctor Online app and get free professional advice from over 60 doctors;
  • order delivery of medicines via, New Mail, Ukrposhta;
  • take an online test to determine if you are at risk for COVID-19;
  • Get answers to the most common questions about COVID-19 symptoms and disease.

At Kyivstar, it should be noted that during the four months of the application’s existence, more than 100,000 users downloaded it and that doctors provide more than a thousand consultations per day. Today, more than 60 qualified specialists support the Doctor Online application. Among them, family physicians, therapists, pediatricians, urologists, cardiologists, dermatologists, endocrinologists, gynecologists and neuropathologists. They are ready to conduct up to 5,000 consultations per day. The application is available for use by subscribers of all mobile operators. The megabytes for the use of the application will be billed according to the tariff plan.

And for Instagram users, the “Svoy.Dok” page appeared in the fall, where doctors provide verified information on prevention and treatment, broadcast live broadcasts during which patients can ask their questions. Now on the Instagram page there are almost 30,000 readers. From recent publications one can find verified facts about tissue masks, the human papillomavirus, infertility, the presence of gray hair and the like.

As you can see, without consulting specialists, quarantined patients will not stay. Of course, this is not a full-fledged replacement for a doctor’s appointment, but in a pandemic situation, we must take advantage of all modern opportunities, and luckily the era of digitalization allows us to do it.

Julia Gorban, Kiev

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