I was asked about my criteria regarding Telemedicine and E- health and who must lead the transformation. I understand there is a multifactorial background on that, where the economical aspect is undeniable but I must say: “The cobbler should stick to his last”
Covid-19 is not gonna make other diseases magically disappear. People will still have headaches, backpain, heart attacks, persistent dandruff, appendicitis, ingrowing nails… even at home childs will still fell down while playing and cut open their chins and foreheads because that’s what they do. Also other needs are not gonna get erased. Women are still getting pregnant (some would say now more than ever with this quarantine and home reclusions ), kids still need to get vaccinated, Chronic patients need their medicines and follow up…
It is up to medical systems designers to reinvent all the processes to keep helping humanity while we coexist with this disease.
Covid 19 is not leaving any time soon but we must adapt to continue delivering health care; Telemedicine and Telehealth are both suitable options so it is logical the interest on increasing these practices.
We are living a remarkable technological moment but there is a lot to think about, starting from how to make these practices part of the Graduate Medical Education, until Postgraduate CME or CPD and Certifications. Topics like guidelines and standards, accreditation, technology and solutions, malpractice, quality and safety, privacy, cybersecurity, information management or costs and remuneration are on discussion nowadays.
There are many institutions that until a couple of months ago were seen as insane as we thought it will take more time to transform Medicine into a highly computarised and digitized practice. Now those companies are called pioneers that we should indeed look up but, is it good to copy their functioning systems?
Providing Health Care, is not the same than actually Caring.
The current pandemic has proven that we were not ready and that we must stop procrastinating transforming every Health System, globally, into a Patient Centred Practice. This is something to take in consideration when increasing the e-health care. We can not lost our humanity just because the direct human touch is limited.
It is not enough, during our current times, to provide an excellent evidence based health care, without the human component. Balancing the patients desires with their real needs and dealing with them in a personalized way, without forgetting the psychosocial component, will result in better outcomes for patients and institutions.
E-health practice demands that we strengthen our abilities as interrogators; also that we increase our sense of differentiation and association of details, our observation … it’s been like a reset, a start over, but we have give it all to fulfill our main goals in the patients care: “do no harm, but also do good”.