COVID-19 has pushed much of the world inside and has forced so many people to do their work virtually. This is particularly the case for those who work with people at high-risk for the virus. In addition to age, any medical ailment that negatively affects your health can complicate the person’s experience with the Coronavirus. Pre-existing conditions are one of the most detrimental factors when it comes to contracting COVID-19. Cancer, of course, is one of these diseases. While the COVID-19 virus impacts cancer patients negatively because their immune system is compromised, oncologists have moved their clinics into the virtual space. Telemedicine has advanced through the pandemic, providing new ways to treat the patients in need.
Oncologists have rapidly transitioned to virtual clinics and telemedicine to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 exposure. The population who needs to see an oncologist are immunosuppressed and high risk. It is unclear how impactful these virtual clinics are for cancer patients. To find out how the clinics are used and evaluate how effective they are, a new study from Irish oncologists aims to find out.
With all the demands put on health care services around the world, anything that can be done remotely is transitioning to online care. Virtual oncology clinics are prepared in advance of scheduled appointments and patients who are suitable for review remotely. Cancer patients often need consultation from their doctors and can schedule most of these appointments for video conferences. Not only does this help high-risk patients avoid the hospital and associate risks of infection. While cancer patients may lose out on the care that in-person visits can provide when bad news is being given, but most of the time virtual appointments will do the job.
The Process of Going Remote
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of medical practices to be done remotely. Virtual appointments prevent transmission of the disease by reducing the need for patients to travel to the hospital, allowing doctors and clinicians to work from home while supporting providers and meeting the increased demand in a particular region. At the beginning of the pandemic, the NHS released guidelines for the management of remote consultations and work in secondary care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The workforce is then focused on establishing specific staff focus on remote appointments. According to McGinley Solicitors, a professional firm that works with personal injury claims, staff who are higher-risk or recently isolating should be used to support these virtual clinics. Since remote consultations can be utilized for a wide range of appointment types. If the doctor doesn’t need to take a blood or do any other physical examinations, most visits can be done remotely.
Satisfaction of Patients
When it comes to virtual oncological visits, the overall satisfaction levels were high with most patients. These patients were equally or nearly satisfied with the virtual clinic in comparison to a typical encounter at an in-person clinic. The majority of patients were relieved to avoid a hospital visit and thought that there should be a role for virtual clinic visits in the future. When the patient doesn’t need a physical examination and can simply discuss their pain and symptoms to the doctor over video conferencing, it is clear that remote appointments will continue to be used in the future.
Future of Telemedicine
It has taken a global pandemic to push technology and telemedicine forward. There is no reason for people to go into the hospital when they don’t need to. Virtual clinics and remote appointments are satisfactory when it comes to consultations. Not only does it improve the efficiency of these visits, but patients are also typically satisfied with the ability to avoid exposure to the virus and have the ability to stay at home and avoid the commute to the hospital or doctor’s office. There’s no reason that these virtual visits will stop. Telemedicine will continue into the future and provide new avenues to make health care more effective.
Oncological clinics are just one of the many sectors of medicine that are being taken online. Medical professionals have taken the initiative to utilize telemedicine, virtual clinics, and remote conferencing to avoid unnecessary in-person appointments and COVID-19 transmissions. With these technologies being utilized more effectively, many different sectors will advance.