Patients and health workers were at high risk of infection during the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic lockdown. For this reason, other medical and clinical approaches such as Telemedicine were necessary. Despite Telemedicine was born before COVID-19, the pandemic was the opportunity to accelerate a process already underway for at least a decade and to blow all the barriers away. Our aim is to describe the experience of Telemedicine during and immediately after the first lockdown to assure the follow-up in a ‘virtual’ outpatient clinic dedicated to Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs) and to give an overview of Telemedicine in the rheumatology field. We retrospectively evaluated the patient flow to our rheumatology division from March to September 2020 and, in accordance with local restrictions, three periods were selected. In the 1st period, 96.96% of the outpatient clinic cases were shifted to Telemedicine; these decreased to 52.45% in the 2nd period, while the 3rd period was characterized by the return of the patients at the clinic (97.6%). Diagnostic procedures were postponed during the 1st period, reduced drastically during the 2nd and performed regularly during the third period. Intravenous infusions were maintained as much as possible during the three periods, to assure therapeutic continuity. Shifting stable patients to Telemedicine has the potential to allow continuity of care, while reducing the risk of contagion during a pandemic. In the next future, the integration of Telemedicine as standard of care for specific clinical applications might assure assistance for RMDs patients also in non-pandemic conditions.

The positive side of the coin: Sars-Cov-2 pandemic has taught us how much Telemedicine is useful as standard of care procedure in real life / El Aoufy, K.; Melis, M. R.; Bellando Randone, S.; Blagojevic, J.; Bartoli, F.; Fiori, G.; Nacci, F.; Conforti, M. L.; Cometi, L.; Bruni, C.; Orlandi, M.; Moggi-Pignone, A.; Rasero, L.; Guiducci, S.; Matucci Cerinic, M.. - In: CLINICAL RHEUMATOLOGY. - ISSN 0770-3198. - 41:(2022), pp. 573-579. [10.1007/s10067-021-05975-2]

The positive side of the coin: Sars-Cov-2 pandemic has taught us how much Telemedicine is useful as standard of care procedure in real life

Matucci Cerinic M.
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Patients and health workers were at high risk of infection during the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic lockdown. For this reason, other medical and clinical approaches such as Telemedicine were necessary. Despite Telemedicine was born before COVID-19, the pandemic was the opportunity to accelerate a process already underway for at least a decade and to blow all the barriers away. Our aim is to describe the experience of Telemedicine during and immediately after the first lockdown to assure the follow-up in a ‘virtual’ outpatient clinic dedicated to Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs) and to give an overview of Telemedicine in the rheumatology field. We retrospectively evaluated the patient flow to our rheumatology division from March to September 2020 and, in accordance with local restrictions, three periods were selected. In the 1st period, 96.96% of the outpatient clinic cases were shifted to Telemedicine; these decreased to 52.45% in the 2nd period, while the 3rd period was characterized by the return of the patients at the clinic (97.6%). Diagnostic procedures were postponed during the 1st period, reduced drastically during the 2nd and performed regularly during the third period. Intravenous infusions were maintained as much as possible during the three periods, to assure therapeutic continuity. Shifting stable patients to Telemedicine has the potential to allow continuity of care, while reducing the risk of contagion during a pandemic. In the next future, the integration of Telemedicine as standard of care for specific clinical applications might assure assistance for RMDs patients also in non-pandemic conditions.
2022
COVID-19
Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases
Sars-Cov-2
Telemedicine
Communicable Disease Control
Humans
Pandemics
Retrospective Studies
SARS-CoV-2
Standard of Care
COVID-19
Telemedicine
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/154540
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