Ping for Care - Neurology Service During the Time of Pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic was one of the deadliest pandemics faced by mankind. It completely took the world by storm and posed a huge challenge to the healthcare systems all around the world.
The pandemic has caused a huge shake up of the economy of so many countries. The manufacturing sector and travel and tourism industries took a big blow and are still reeling under the lasting impact of this pandemic. Livelihood of many individuals was disrupted not just because of the disease but also due to the socio-economic crisis created by this pandemic.
The pandemic also saw how the internet could open the world although physically we were restricted in our movements. There was a revolution happening in the way people worked; so many industries understood that work could be performed from home remotely and very effectively. In fact, many industries realised that this was also very economically viable.
The medical field was no exception and was also facing a big challenge. During this difficult period, normal hospital services were affected. The regular out-patient services with traditional clinics could not be carried out. In neurology, we have so many elderly patients with chronic conditions who need regular follow-up but these patients could not come to the hospital. Many of these patients who needed care for their other medical problems were afraid to come to the hospital and neglected their health and landed in trouble with complications.
To overcome this major problem, the medical system had to undergo a huge shift in their approach to patient care. Alternate methods were explored for continuity of patient care.
In Kauvery Hospital, many medical practitioners took to the online platform to render their clinical services to patients who needed care. In neurology, we offered regular online consultations to our patients and patients were so thankful for this. In fact, we could reach out to remote places and even people from villages. This was an eye opener even to us as doctors.
Regular prescriptions were sent to patients so that there was no break up of their care and online medical pharmacies also made procurement easy for the patients. Sometimes when we identified patients who needed immediate attention, we advised them to be brought to the hospital and this timely intervention saved so many lives. For a doctor-patient relationship, this connection helps build rapport and cements people’s trust.
Now that the society is opening up, people are getting vaccinated and normal hospital services have resumed, but we are still continuing to offer a hybrid system wherein patients from remote regions can still contact us online once a week.
Use of technology is not new in the field of neurology which is seeing so many advances in treatment methods and diagnostics. So, use of technology for the betterment of clinical services came naturally to us and we are extremely satisfied that we could help so many people even during the lockdowns.
Telemedicine has thus contributed significantly to health care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic and this optimal use of technology will continue to help patients overcome physical barriers and access medical care at the right time for the years to come.
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