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Telemedicine Applications in a Tertiary Pediatric Hospital in Turkey During COVID-19 Pandemic.

Authors
  • Aydemir, Sezin1
  • Ocak, Suheyla2
  • Saygılı, Seha3
  • Hopurcuoğlu, Duhan4
  • Haşlak, Fatih5
  • Kıykım, Ertuğrul4
  • Aktuğlu Zeybek, Çiğdem4
  • Celkan, Tiraje2
  • Demirgan, Ebru Burcu3
  • Kasapçopur, Özgür5
  • Çokuğraş, Haluk1
  • Kıykım, Ayça1
  • Canpolat, Nur3
  • 1 Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey. , (Turkey)
  • 2 Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey. , (Turkey)
  • 3 Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Department of Pediatrics, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey. , (Turkey)
  • 4 Division of Inborn Disorders of Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey. , (Turkey)
  • 5 Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey. , (Turkey)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2021
Volume
27
Issue
10
Pages
1180–1187
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1089/tmj.2020.0381
PMID: 33301373
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Background: A novel type of Coronavirus emerged at Wuhan in late 2019 involving preferentially the respiratory system. Owing to the rapid spread, almost 22 million people became infected and 700,000 died. Similar to other countries, the need for additional hospital beds and intensive care units required diversion of health care resources toward the care for those with COVID-19 in Turkey. Telemedicine appeared as a safe and low-cost alternative for the maintainability of pediatric health services during the pandemics. Within this context, we aimed to deliver the health services through telemedicine during the follow-up of chronic childhood diseases. Materials and Methods: This prospective study included five pediatric subspecialties, including allergy immunology, hematology and oncology, nephrology, rheumatology, and inborn metabolic disorders. After the interview, patients and involved physicians were requested to fill out a questionnaire designed to measure the level of satisfaction and the quality of the service we offered. Results: Of the 263 interviews, overall patient and physician satisfaction was 99% and 87%, respectively. As results of the interviews, 250 routine visits were performed, 181 acute complaints were assessed, drug changes were made in 118 patients, 9 patients were determined to be unable to get their drugs, and 12 who misused their drugs. The main advantage of the telemedicine declared by the patients was "not to waste time for transportation." The main concerns of the participants were inability to perform physical and laboratory examinations. Conclusion: Consequently, we considered telemedicine as a feasible alternative not only during pandemics but also in daily practice in Turkey.

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