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Use of Telemedicine During the Second Covid Pandemic Wave of October 2020 in a Tertiary Referral Hospital in Switzerland

Submission: April 8, 2022Published: April 25, 2022


Covid-19 posed major problems for health systems and hospitals, which suddenly had to deal with significantly larger patient flows. Each hospital has responded differently, with telemedicine proving a viable option. Patients were discharged earlier and further monitored by telemedicine; the emergency departments used telemedicine as a triage tool, or consultations were conducted via telemedicine applications. We conducted a retrospective descriptive study analyzing the satisfaction of telemedicine follow-ups of COVID-19 positive patients discharged from hospitalization. Physicians followed up the 24 patients via telemedicine, and 21 questionnaires were completed and analyzed, based on the total of 55 performed consultations. In general, the patients were delighted with the follow-up quality and found this consultation pleasant. The patients would also recommend the telemedicine service to others and want to use this service more often in the future. However, from an outpatient perspective, it remains to be seen whether telemedicine offers the real added value of reducing hospital costs and length of stay.

Keywords: Telemedicine; Second covid; Health systems; Hospitals; Triage tool; Physicians; Pneumonia

Abbreviations: WHO: World Health Organization; HFR: Hospitals of Fribourg; HR: Heart Rate; SBP: Systolic Blood Pressure

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