The changing trend of teleconsultations during COVID-19 era at a tertiary facility in Tanzania
Internal Medicine (East Africa); Imaging and Diagnostic Radiology (East Africa); General Surgery (East Africa)
Introduction: the current COVID-19 pandemic has occasioned the increased adoption of telemedicine. This study reports the uptake and trend of a new teleconsultation service in a Tanzanian hospital.
Methods: this is a retrospective observational study that profiled requests for teleconsultations and uptake of the service between April 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020.
Results: two hundred and eighteen telephone inquiries were received over the 3 months. One hundred and sixteen (53.2%) individuals followed through with the teleconsultations. Paediatric (38.8%) and Internal medicine (32.8%) were the subspecialties with the highest number of teleconsultations. In a frame of 3 months, teleconsultation uptake was highest in May and lowest in June.
Conclusion: there was a steady rise and a rapid fall in requests and uptake of teleconsultation services over the period under evaluation. Lack of insurance coverage for teleconsultations was a significant barrier. We propose a re-education and reiteration of the benefits of telemedicine to all stakeholders. This is important for the current era and beyond.
Pan African Medical Journal
(2020). The changing trend of teleconsultations during COVID-19 era at a tertiary facility in Tanzania. Pan African Medical Journal, 35(125).
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_mc_intern_med/115