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CONSULTATIONS IN COVID TIMES

Post by on Sunday, July 25, 2021

First slide
Covid came as a leveller, a milestone from where recalibration of lifestyle and behaviour became a necessity.
It had a deep impact on every sphere of life and who could have imagined that kids not going to school for years together will be taken as something ” normal” and ” much needed ” for the safety of everyone.
Doctors, paramedics and all sectors in healthcare too had to align to the new risks and growing expectations. The online portals, tele-consultations, virtual clinics became a reality but for a short period only.  The crowds reappeared in public and private health sectors as soon as the dip was visible in the curve.
We professionals issue sermons and blame parks , tourists, hotels for becoming the hubs but tend to ignore the basics that should be implemented at our own setups, polyclinics, consultation chambers and private healthcare facilities.
Remember it’s not over Yet !
Though we are better prepared with the health sector at its best,  with a 7% surge in caseload today , a third wave can’t be ruled out at this juncture.
”HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS ARE DOING BEST AT EACH LEVEL , BUT A REVIEW OF BASICS WILL BE HANDY AT THIS HOUR .”
For discouraging the virus transmission and being a part to break the chain, we too need to behave responsibly everywhere ….
1. PROPER MASKS ARE LIFESAVERS
The crowd that stands shoulder to shoulder with masks below their nose should be discouraged in the healthcare premise at any cost.  
2. TRIAGE AT FRONT DESK
High risk patients shouldn’t be allowed to mix with rest of the patients coming for non-covid care, so triage right from front desks, clinic receptions and in waiting areas should take priority for some more time.
3. DISTANCE IS THE KEY
 Entry and exits should be separate, if not possible at least be wide apart or the patient consultation timings should be with a brief pause. The footfall should be regulated so that the distance based SOP isn’t violated.
4. CONSULTATION SLOTS
 Need to be a bit innovative. ” Consultation slots” is the need of the hour rather than all patients sitting in the windowless waiting area or surrounding the counters at the same time.
5. LIMIT THE NUMBER
Public health hygiene demands are a bit uneasy for us too sometimes. But truth needs to be told; if possible limits need to be set on daily influx into the chambers for larger safety. We should not be helping manufacture the wave at any cost.
6. OUR BEHAVIOR MATTERS
It’s not always the patient who should be blamed as the spreader, even the negligent front desk , workaholic doctor unaware of SOPs, and healthcare setup with commerce and turnover in mind can contribute to the surge easily.
7. RAT FOR FEVER & COUGH
RAT testing is of great help in such settings and the utility shouldn’t be underestimated. Simple fever and cough should not be diverted inside the waiting area without testing.
8. VACCINATION CARDS ARE HELPFUL
Vaccination cards should become the new IDs everywhere, even at the clinics so that we don’t hurt our patients or anyone unknowingly.
9. IS YOUR MEDIC VACCINATED?
Not only patients, All healthcare personnel at our setups should be fully vaccinated and someone needs to ensure that at the earliest.
10. SIMPLE DETERRENTS
 We can’t blame tourism, barber, baker, and transporter. We as healthcare professionals too need to act responsibly. A small negligence on any front can lead to the third catastrophe easily.
11. AIR FLOW IN THE CHAMBER
Installation of a simple exhaust fan and an open window can save the visiting patient from acquiring the unwanted bug in your chambers. Is it still missing??? Do install now.
12. ITALY CAN’T BE FORGOTTEN
 Clinical chambers became the spreading hubs in Italy in 2020. Experts suggest that medical practice during a pandemic may need to be turned on its head.
13. NEJM TIPS
NEJM too suggested that patient-centred care by physicians should shift to more effective community-centred care in a pandemic where benefits of population should be prioritised at any cost.
These should be taken as humble suggestions to prevent a third wave. Remember
1. VACCINATE YOUR FRONT DESK
2. ALLOT CONSULTATION SLOTS
3. DISCOURAGE WAITING QUEUES.
4. TRIAGE & RAT FOR HIGH RISK CASES.
5. AIR FLOW IN CLINICAL CHAMBERS.
 

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