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Onsite telemedicine strategy for coronavirus (COVID-19) screening to limit exposure in ED


Coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) outbreak is a public health emergency and a global pandemic. During the present coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, telemedicine has been recommended to screen suspected patients to limit risk of exposure and maximise medical staff protection. We constructed the protective physical barrier with telemedicine technology to limit COVID-19 exposure in ED. Our hospital is an urban community hospital with annual ED volume of approximately 50 000 patients. We equipped our patient exam room with intercom and iPad for telecommunication. Based on our telemedicine screening protocol, physician can conduct a visual physical examination on stable patients via intercom or videoconference. Telemedicine was initially used to overcome the physical barrier between patients and physicians. However, our protocol is designed to create a protective physical barrier to protect healthcare workers and enhance efficiency in ED. The implementation can be a promising protocol in making ED care more cost-effective and efficient during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

  • infectious diseases, SARS
  • emergency department

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