As of this writing, the COVID-19 pandemic is still a mystery, but the findings of a recent study are very positive. The number of patients with respiratory tract infections (RTIs) increased to 64.7%, and those with acute bronchitis rose to 58.5%, respectively.
Patients had four clinical encounters in the pre-pandemic phase, including pharmacy visits, hospital outpatient clinics, and an online consultation platform. The study found that the number of patients who visited an online consultation platform was significantly higher than the number of clinical encounters required in a typical clinic.
Moreover, patients with mild symptoms, such as cough, were more likely to be treated by an online health service. However, only 9.6% of patients had been diagnosed with pneumonia before receiving an online consultation.
The increased utilization of online consultations during the pandemic could be attributed to it supplemented the income of overworked doctors worldwide. In the Philippines, online consultations allowed people to remain at home during the crisis, reducing the risk of cross-infection. Thus, the practice of online medical consultations may have saved many lives during the pandemic.
Many people sought out medical help even if they could not get to a clinic. They used remote consultations to evaluate their symptoms and seek medical advice for COVID-19 symptoms and other illnesses, willingly answering forms putting them as EMR or electronic medical records accessible to physicians anytime, anywhere.
In addition to increasing the number of patients with a COVID-19 infection, online consultations have also facilitated access to care for vulnerable groups through EMR Philippines. In the past, teleconsultations were used more for upper respiratory tract infections, while older patients accounted for the majority of them were used for COVID-19-related investigations. The rapid scaling up of the service also helped to reduce hospital visits.
In addition to COVID-19, the number of patients who benefited from this service did not have to travel to a doctor’s office during the pandemic. A number of these cases had other health-related needs, including those related to their comorbidities and the prevention of acquiring additional illnesses.