Teleconsultations during a pandemic
Pan American Health Organization
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Teleconsultations: an essential tool for use during a pandemic In situations where a pandemic is declared, the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty can overwhelm people, and health systems can struggle to cope with an uncontrolled and exponential demand. Without appropriate planning and mitigation measures, health services can be exposed to the risk of collapse caused by an inundation of queries that could be serviced by virtual means. Health facilities may become overwhelmed and have insufficient capacity to provide adequate treatment to those most in need of care. Teleconsultations are a safe and effective way to assess suspected cases and guide the patient’s diagnosis and treatment, minimizing the risk of disease transmission. These teleconsultations enable many of the key clinical services to continue to operate regularly and uninterrupted, both in preparation for and in the course of a public health emergency...