How to Render Medical Services Remotely. The Concept of Comarch Healthcare’s Remote Medical Center as a complement to the Traditional Healthcare System.
Are we prepared for the quick implementation of telemedicine solutions?
Bartosz Pampuch, VP Comarch Healthcare (B.P.): Advanced information and communication technology in healthcare, and mutual relations between doctors, medical entities, and patients, have been greatly influenced by social transformations in Poland and globally for several years. Our lifestyle and quality of life expectations continue to grow, and this is related to healthcare. The average patient is not satisfied by the mere lack of queues in the waiting rooms. Everyone wants to be admitted as soon as possible, and the doctor of choice must enjoy a good reputation among other patients. Nevertheless, satisfying all such needs, while faced with a shortage of specialized medical staff and a progressively ageing society, is a major challenge. The answer is to use modern, advanced IT technologies in medicine. This process has already started and is inevitable. The sooner we realize the benefits of telemedicine solutions, the sooner we can prepare for their implementation.
In the case of telemedicine, we often come across the assertion that modern, technologically advanced solutions dehumanize healthcare. Is this true?
B.P.: Nothing could be further from the truth. Telemedicine is complementary to traditional healthcare and allows a broader range of healthcare services to be offered. Here, I mean remote access to medical documentation and laboratory or radiological test results with comments from the doctor in charge and recommendations as to further treatment, online consultation with a doctor about test results and further treatment without the need for a personal visit, remote medical consultations between the doctor in charge and specialist doctors - which very frequently facilitate access to medical care for people living in small towns, and 24/7 monitoring of selected vital signs of a patient. Such solutions are offered by Comarch Healthcare, among others within the Remote Medical Center, which, by providing medical services remotely thus improves the efficiency of medical centers and offers a sense of safety to patients by assuring them of continuous contact with qualified medical staff even when they are at home.
Who can benefit from the Remote Medical Center services?
B.P.: Primary healthcare units and ambulatory specialist care units, certainly. We are also interested in centers dealing with diagnostics, rehabilitation, and long-term care. We pay much attention to remote cardiological, obstetric, and senior care, which is reflected in our offer on the market. We specialize in providing solutions to allow remote long-term care of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and in long-term cardiological tele-monitoring and detection of early-phase atrial fibrillation (AF).
How can the Remote Medical Center services facilitate a doctor’s everyday work?
B.P.: The core task of the system is to improve communication between the medical center and the patient, and to improve the quality of relations between doctors and patients. This is not only about saving time for medical staff and patients, but also about assuring a safe form of contact between the doctor and the patient. Electronic medical documentation allows quick access to a patient’s files and test results, and lets the doctor in charge, regardless of their location, share this information easily with specialists. The option of making one’s calendar available with online registration helps build the doctor’s professional image on the Internet, which is currently of great importance. Owing to the automatic transmission of test results such as lung volume, blood saturation, blood pressure and ECG Holter, and the ability for patients to confirm electronically that they have administered the appropriate dose of medication, the doctor can continuously monitor treatment and update recommendations. Advantages also include the fact that, instead of free of charge consultations by phone, exceeding the time of physical appointments, the doctor can provide recorded and paid-for teleconsultations with patients. And do not let us forget about other possibilities of joint teleconference medical councils involving other specialists, which contribute to improving the qualifications of medical staff. Such teleconference calls can take place during a teleconsultation between the doctor in charge and their patient, or at another time, without the patient attending.
How can the Remote Medical Center solution be implemented?
B.P.: Experience gathered upon implementation in many medical centers has allowed us to provide solutions that meet needs related to rationalisation of administrative processes, and to improving the quality of medical services. Our rich portfolio of products and services allow us the flexibility to adjust to the needs of clients who can benefit from a package of services forming part of the Remote Medical Center suite in the cloud model, or who can integrate them with their own medical center management systems in any configuration. The Remote Medical Center solution has been adapted to the needs of the Polish and foreign markets.