Telemedicine to reduce waiting lists according to communities

Isaac Tunisia, Miguel López-Valverde, Catalina Lorenzo, Francisco Javier Turumbay, Eladio Linares.

The empowerment of telemedicine during the Covid-19 pandemic it has brought to light some of its virtues in speeding up patient care, but it has also proven effective in strengthening connections between medical professionals themselves. The pilot tests applied in several autonomous communities have revealed the success of this tool in opening a direct line of communication between the Primary Care and specialist areas. Something that has already been felt positively in the reduction of waiting lists for hospital consultations.

Video of the table-debate on Telemedicine at the XI Global Meeting of Senior Officials of the Health Administration.

Territories like Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha, Navarra, Andalusia or Madrid They have already applied some experimental programs that allow Primary School doctors to consult almost in real time the situation of a patient with a specialist. In less than 24 hours, they receive a response which helps them decide if the condition is not serious or if a referral is necessary. A new paradigm that they have presented during the XI Global Meeting of Senior Officials of the Health Administration who organizes Medical Writing. The forum has the collaboration of Abbott, Abex Robotic Excellence, Air Liquide Healthcare, Cardiva, Fresenius Medical Care, General Electric Healthcare, Pfizer and Sanofi.

One of these examples of innovative telemedicine is already underway in Murcia. A cardiologist who had just completed his residency devised a system that allowed doctors to make this type of query by sending images from your mobile phone. Thus, pathologies such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure, chest pain or abnormal situations that appear on an electrocardiogram could be assessed on that same day.

The cardiologist must give an answer on that same day to decide which route the patient should take, while every two weeks he visits the health centers to meet with the doctors and review the cases. The result is that referrals to patients who do not require review are avoided, while priority is given to those who do. “The waiting list in Cardiology has decreased and it is a way of working that can be done in other collaborative disciplines”, he explained Catherine Lawrence, former Minister of Health of the Region of Murcia.

Catalina Lorenzo Gabarrón, former Minister of Health of the Region of Murcia.

Eladio Linares Morcillo, director of Information Systems of the Castilla-La Mancha Health Service.

Telemedicine applied to Dermatology

A similar case is the one that has activated Navarre with a program aimed at Dermatology. The formula is identical: the health center doctor sends an image to the specialist to make a decision on the referral within 24 hours. something that contributes a “multidisciplinary” approach to the concept of telemedicine. “You have avoided hundreds of consultations and thousands of kilometers of displacement with tremendous speed and simplicity”, has valued the director of Information Systems, Eladio Linares.

Navarra also has its own ‘teledermatology’ programme, which has spent years exploring the possibilities of new technologies to have referralsskin-related queries, but now it has become more important. “Covid has led us to enter a new paradigm with open arms”, he celebrated Francisco Javier Turumbay, Deputy Director of Information Systems and Technologies.

The Community of Madrid is also working on different initiatives for “bypass piloting” to try to exploit the advantages that telemedicine presents between Primary Care and hospital care, such as the possibility of “digitalizing all diagnostic tests” with complete circuits for the patient. “Get more power to the primarist. Many consultations have nothing to do with the hospital”, he explained. Miguel Lopez-Valverde, General Director of Information Systems and Digital Health.

This strategy is also being redirected by Andalusia which has set itself the goal of integrating telemedicine into a unique virtual card, as well as the development of a mobile application for patients. The objective is that the information serves to guide diagnoses but also the treatment, monitoring, prevention or investigation of diseases. “We have to be clear that we are communicating information. This implies ethical and legal challenges.”has added, the secretary general of Research, Development and Innovation of the Ministry of Health.

What all the regional leaders of the forum have agreed on is that promoting this type of commitment to telemedicine must necessarily entail educational plans so that doctors adapt to new technologies. A “continuous training” which will have to adapt to the great novelties that are already present with pilot programs.

Miguel López-Valverde Argueso, General Director of Information Systems and Digital Health of the Madrid Health Service.

Isaac Tunisia Fiñana, General Secretary of Research, Development and Innovation of the Ministry of Health and Families of Andalusia.

Francisco Javier Turumbay Ranz, deputy director of Information Systems and Health Technologies of the Navarra Health Service.

Debate on the challenges of telemedicine at the XI Global Meeting of Senior Officials of the Health Administration.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a health professional.

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