Home Health More telemedicine to reduce waiting lists: specialists connected with family doctors – breaking latest news

More telemedicine to reduce waiting lists: specialists connected with family doctors – breaking latest news

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More telemedicine to reduce waiting lists: specialists connected with family doctors – breaking latest news

TRENTO. Thanks to the agreement signed by the unions of general practitioners with the Health Authority, the relationship between hospital specialists and general practitioners will be decidedly closer and, if everything works as planned, the patients will above all benefit. Instead of being invited to the emergency room or receiving a prescription with Rao A for a visit that could be arranged far from where they live, they will receive an initial consultation in their doctor’s surgery who will contact the hospital specialist directly.

This, connected via video, will evaluate whether, through a preferential channel, the patient must be urgently taken to the hospital or if, with adequate therapy, he can easily be managed by the family doctor.

«We will start on February 1 with an experimentation that will involve ten general practitioners scattered throughout the area. From March 1, then, the project will be extended to all general practitioners», explains Nicola Paoli, from the Smi (Italian doctors’ union) who signed the agreement with the healthcare company together with Valerio Di Giannantonio (Fimmg) and Roberto Adami (Snami).

The first evidence of a possible direct connection between the hospital and the local area had already occurred during the Covid pandemic when it was preferable not to access the wards. The family doctors had been provided with telephone numbers where, at certain times, they could call the specialists and get their opinion for situations they considered urgent. Now, thanks to the impetus of telemedicine and the money provided by the Pnrr, this project will be expanded. Initially the specialists involved will be pulmonologists, dermatologists and cardiologists, but over time others could be added.

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The goal is to reduce waiting times for some specialities, also for emergencies, exceed the 3 days foreseen for the Rao A as well as access to the emergency room. In this way, in fact, thanks to the consultation, the doctors will send directly to the ward only the patients who – according to the specialist – have a real need. In recent weeks, computer technicians have been working to guarantee the necessary connections so that hospital systems and those of family doctors are able to “communicate” with each other.

Furthermore, the project also foresees the implementation of the electronic health record so that emergency room personnel, when a patient arrives, already have a precise picture of the therapies they are following, especially as regards chronic patients. Among the five projects signed in the agreement there is also the strengthening of treatments palliatives. In Trentino, in 2021, there were around 25,000 home visits carried out by integrated home care for adult or pediatric cancer patients or for other serious disabling pathologies.

The number of these patients is growing and so are their needs. They need continuous monitoring and families need a direct connection to manage even the small emergencies that arise on a daily basis. For this reason, even at the national level, a plan has been drawn up to increase operators and skills.

In the past months 26, including general practitioners, continuity of care doctors, paediatricians and nursing home doctors, have attended specific training which will allow them to in turn become teachers for the other doctors in the area. In this way palliative doctors and local nurses who have been working in the Trentino area for years will have valid additional support to meet the needs of these patients and their families and above all to guarantee assistance everywhere.

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