As patients increasingly look for convenient and affordable care, other methods of meeting patients are gradually replacing in-person visits. Today, innovations in telemedicine present new ways of handling public health emergencies and disasters like Covid-19.

n-demand telemedicine is a modern approach to sorting patients before they are taken to the emergency department (ED). The method allows for efficient patient screening, focuses on the patient, promotes communication, and provides health care providers with critical data such as travel and exposure histories. Telemedicine can be used in self-quarantine cases, effectively protecting patients, clinicians, and the community from exposure.

More U.S. health systems already have or are outsourcing these programs to attend to patients at home while minimizing exposure. In terms of combatting Covid-19, the telemedicine systems feature bots that allow for video visits with care providers and refer moderate-to-high risk patients to the right nurse triage lines.

In case of emergencies or high-risk patients in isolation, the technology allows clinicians to work remotely to cover multiple sites. Provided web-conferencing software and a secure open line; tablets can be used in ambulatory care settings, isolation facilities, and exam rooms. This system works for patients who aren’t sick but can expose clinicians, visitors, and other patients to the disease. Physicians can also use an electronic intensive care unit (e-ICU) programs to monitor patients in ICUs in different hospitals remotely.

Mobile integrated healthcare programs and community paramedicine make it possible for clinicians to virtually provide expert medical care to patients at home. When the patient gets sicker, the technology reduces exposure by facilitating their direct transfer to a hospital bed, which means that patients can access subspecialists who may not be available in person.
Also, when health care workers contract Covid-19 and are quarantined at home, workforce capacity suffers greatly. Telemedicine not only minimizes exposure but also allows quarantined clinicians to provide services virtually.

In a nutshell, disasters and pandemics present significant challenges to the healthcare system. Telemedicine will not solve all the problems but will go a long way in ensuring the existing infrastructure is suited for the scenario and that clinicians can see patients. In these times of Covid-19, telemedicine can be beneficial.