March has been an extremely transformative month. It’s hard to believe that a mere 4 weeks ago we were working in offices, socializing in restaurants and hosting family gatherings in our homes. Terms like “Social Distancing” and “Self Isolation” were not part of our daily vocabulary, and “Remote Working” and “E-learning” were not an everyday reality.
At the time of writing, COVID-19 had infected at least 935,000 people across almost 200 countries, including 317 people within Kuwait. Healthcare institutions and systems throughout the world are tackling the virus head on, with temporary hospitals, volunteers and digital solutions acting as supports for over-stretched healthcare workers.
Clearing hospitals of non-urgent cases
One of the best ways to ensure care is being provided to those who need it during a pandemic, is by removing the workload brought on by non-urgent cases. This can be seen across the board, where routine surgeries and appointments are being cancelled or delayed to allow hospitals to be ready for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases. But what does this mean for people who still need medical support during this time?
One way this can be managed is by using telehealth solutions – virtual consultations, advice and monitoring of patients through video calling or other remote solutions. Enabled by digital transformation, telehealth solutions reduce the potential risks patients could be in by visiting a hospital, whilst still ensuring they receive the healthcare support they need.
Another way, is by managing prescriptions remotely. Patients with chronic conditions in particular are required to get repeat prescription on an ongoing basis to keep them healthy, however automation can allow them do get their prescriptions from the comfort of their own home. This is something Kuwait’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has implemented to reduce the number of people leaving their homes during the period of curfew.
Improving efficiency within hospitals
Automation will play an even more important role during this pandemic, supporting healthcare workers by speeding up tasks and reducing the risk of human error. Automation can also allow silos of data to be seen to allow doctors to make informed decisions seeing multiple sets of data which may have previously sat on different platforms. There are a number of solutions can be implemented:
- Clinical Application Optimization: Drives higher efficiency availability and performance for critical applications like EHRs and PACs.
- Inoperability Solutions: Consolidates, virtualizes and manages both clinical and business applications, improving productivity and workflow for safer healthcare decisions.
- Advanced Medical Imaging: Supports PACS, VNA, pathology, cardiology and other clinical imaging platforms with next-generation imaging analytics.
We can all do our bit
While these digital tools will support our healthcare workers during this critical period, it’s vital we all do our bit to stay at home prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks.
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