Hamad Medical Corporation used telemedicine to care more than 80% of outpatients

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Hamad Medical Corporation

More than 80% of the usual outpatient services at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) are provided over the phone with medical teams giving more than 27,000 phone consultations to the patients as of last week. 

Dr. Khalid Al-Rumaihi, Director of Urgent Medical Consultation Service and Head of Urology Department at HMC noted the service which was with the purpose of ensuring protection for all patients and medical staff, as the service allowed to keep patients outside the HMC clinics and emergency centers, especially patients most vulnerable to severe complications of the Covid-19.

The service had seen a significant increase in the number of connected patients, as during the first week of service around 3,500 calls were received, while an average 5,000 calls are received weekly.

The Urgent Medical Consultation Service is currently managed by more than 20 doctors who work to give advice to patients in 15 medical specialties and serve to transfer patients directly to emergency centers and outpatient clinics.

Dr. Al-Rumaihi stressed that Hamad Medical Corporation HMC is working to ensure that patients are spared the need to visit the hospital as much as possible, but at the same time not all forms of remote care can be provided over the phone, as some cases require the patient to visit the doctor in the hospital so that doctors and nursing teams continue their work round the clock treatment for patients whose conditions require hospital care.

“Keeping patients out of the hospital and reducing their risk of exposure to (Covid-19) is very important, but the public should also not stop requesting the medical care they need, and also it is important for the public to know that the HMC is doing everything possible to ensure that they get care safely.”
Dr. Khalid Al-Rumaihi, Director of Urgent Medical Consultation Service, HMC

Dr. Mohammed Al-Ateeq Al-Dossary, member of the Steering Committee of the Urgent Medical Consultation Services Project and Head of the Department of Orthopedics at the Hamad Medical Corporation said that there is clear evidence that the urgent medical advice service over phone contributes to reducing pressure on emergency services, which enabled to keep patients whose health is considered good outside the hospital.

He continued that the service provided assistance in ensuring that patients who need care are directed to the right place, emphasizing the need for patients to understand that this service is intended for non-dangerous situations and that anyone who may face an emergency such as a stroke or heart attack should speed up to seek help.

In the event of a real emergency situation, one should go to the emergency department or call 999.