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Recommendations for the use of Non-Face-to-Face Care Channels

Autor: Jesús Berdún   /  27.07.2020

The current state of alarm generated by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has created a new situation in the provision of health services, aggravated by restricted mobility and the saturation of resources. In order to deal with this situation, new Non-Face-to-Face Care channels are being incorporated to support outpatient professionals in hospitals, community health and mental health centres. This article contains recommendations for the use of Non-Face-to-Face Care channels, to identify situations where it is advisable to offer this type of care. It also offers practical advice about the available tools: telephone support, eConsulta (secure messaging) and videoConsulta (online and video consultation). The work draws on the recommendations of professionals from different SISCAT centres, within a project co-led by the TIC Salut i Social Foundation (LATITUD project), the CatSalut Care Department and the eHealth Office. The content therefore includes recommendations depending on the situation of each centre. These recommendations have been grouped into two blocks:

Vista prèvies de les fitxes

Non-Face-to-Face Care in Catalonia

In a very short period of time, the Catalan healthcare system has reinforced the use of non-face-to-face care tools.For example, the use of eConsulta (secure asynchronous messaging) has been promoted, giving access to the entire population through the La Meva Salut personal health folder.Meanwhile, access has been given to healthcare professionals so that they can work remotely, and a videoconferencing system has been set up.The increased use of teleconsultations has been significant, as can be seen in the article “Turning the Crisis Into an Opportunity: Digital Health Strategies Deployed During the COVID-19 Outbreak” published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance 2020; 6 (2): e19106.The following image shows an example of this transformation: [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="321"] Visits to primary care by type of visits in the period from 1 March to 19 April 2020[/caption]
The Care Department and the Information Systems Department of the Catalan Health Service and the TIC Salut i Social Foundation have identified a need to provide recommendations to SISCAT providers on the use of the available non-face-to-face care channels. Therefore, through the use of working groups involving the participation of healthcare professionals from various public hospitals in our public health system, the following pamphlets have been prepared. Recommendations for the use of Non-Face-to-Face Care channels The use of Non-Face-to-Face Care channels must allow for a personalized care adapted to the situation of the member of the public and the health resources available. The aim of these pamphlets is to facilitate the use of these channels by providing a set of recommendations. Therefore, to make it easier to read, the information has been summarized in pamphlets aimed at both professionals and the management teams of the centres. The content of the pamphlets has been divided into two groups: content for healthcare professionals and content for the management teams of the centres. The content aimed at professionals includes: Regarding the content aimed at the management teams of the centres:
  • Organizational recommendations: aspects related to the activities required in the centres for the use of non-face-to-face channels.
  • Legal aspects: aspects regarding compliance with data protection and privacy regulations
  • Checklist: summary of aspects to consider in the use of non-face-to-face care channels
  • Best practices: practical aspects for carrying out non-face-to-face visits correctly
  • Use of Non-Face-to-Face channels in hospital outpatient clinics, community health and mental health centres