The problem of unnecessary access to the emergency room is even more relevant in the Coronavirus era where it is necessary to ensure social distancing even in healthcare facilities.
In the UK, Gloucestershire hospitals have reduced unnecessary emergency room access by up to 83% with Cinapsis, a digital triage platform for family doctors.
Through an app, family doctors can directly contact emergency room doctors who provide advice via voice, video, image or message sharing. Thanks to this service only patients who need further clinical support are referred to the hospital.
The platform records the session and allows the specialist to send the televisit report to the family doctor.
The platform has been implemented throughout the One Gloucestershire partnership since December 2018. 70% of dermatological visits have been managed without an appointment at the hospital. Since the coronavirus epidemic, 32% of COVID-19 patients have been treated safely at home, relieving pressure on hospitals.
The platform, developed by otolaryngologist surgeon Dr Owain Rhys Hughes, addresses the need for general practitioners to talk to colleagues at their local hospital for advice and clinical indications.
Facilitating collaboration between family doctors, emergency health professionals and specialists allows decisions to be made quickly and seamlessly, in a logic of real integration of care.
In the UK, due to lockdown, there is a significant backlog of specialist treatment and appointments. The connection between family doctors and specialists allows for improved appropriateness and reduced expectations for patients who really need to visit the hospital.
Other public healthcare companies are in the process of adopting the platform.