HumanInsight Clinical signs, telemedicine and online consultations in head and neck diseases during the SARS CoV-2 pandemic: an Italian experience
Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2022 Apr;42(Suppl. 1):S36-S45. doi: 10.14639/0392-100X-suppl.1-42-2022-04.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to describe the application of a telemedicine (TM) synchronous model designed to deliver care during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to patients with head and neck disease.
METHODS: The first step was to identify the classes of patients eligible for tele-examination. Mild, flu-like symptomatology represents the characteristics of the typical patient who is a candidate for tele-examination. The standard requirements for TM include a computer associated with a digital camera, alternatively a smartphone or tablet. The TM platform is based on the Lifesize™ software, which can be freely downloaded.
RESULTS: The overall number of teleconsultations was 178, of which 163 (91.5%) were managed at home, while 15 (8.5%) were invited for in-presence examination. The number of patients coming from general practitioners was 98 (55.1%), from spoke units 52 (29.2%), patients needing prompt stabilisation and transfer to the hub centre were 20 (11.2%,) while 8 (4.5%) were immediately fast-tracked in the spoke unit after multi-professional tele-consultation.
CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine improves organisational models, and provides a scalable solution to overcome problems of overcrowding, resources and time. Should these developments continue, we could face to a gradual transition to a more digital and efficient healthcare system.
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