COVID-19 research briefs: useful tools to support telehealth during COVID-19 lockdown

Daily POEMs

Published: 2020-05-06 © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Clinical question
How can telehealth best be used to manage patients during quarantine for COVID-19?

Bottom line
Providing telehealth services is essential for managing the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. See the synopsis for useful tools and protocols that support clinicians. (LOE = 5)

Greenhalgh T, Koh GC, Car J. Covid-19: a remote assessment in primary care. BMJ 2020;368:m1182. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1182

Study design: Not applicable

Setting: Population-based

Research Brief #8: The widespread use of quarantine measures has created a need for telehealth in a setting where few are trained or have planned infrastructures. Although these are not research studies, the British Medical Journal and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have published two useful tools. On March 25, 2020, Greenhalgh, Koh, and Car published a nice overview of how telehealth sessions should occur, as well as the necessary infrastructures that need to be in place. The article has a useful 1-page summary that is aimed at physicians. The CDC has created an explicit script with branch points and specific care messages. For example, patients reporting symptoms of hypoxia or hypotension are directed to the emergency department and the script also cautions the patient to inform the medical providers of possible COVID-19 exposure. This script is more detailed and could be adapted for use by less-extensively trained clinicians.

Henry C. Barry, MD, MS
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Copyright © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.