Short Report - Special Collection: COVID-19

Implementing a video call visit system in a coronavirus disease 2019 unit

Muhammad S. Moolla, Alistair Broadhurst, Mohammed A. Parker, Arifa Parker, Abdurasiet Mowlana
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2637 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2637 | © 2020 Muhammad S. Moolla, Alistair Broadhurst, Mohammed A. Parker, Arifa Parker, Abdurasiet Mowlana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 June 2020 | Published: 15 September 2020

About the author(s)

Muhammad S. Moolla, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Tygerberg Hospital, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Alistair Broadhurst, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Tygerberg Hospital, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Mohammed A. Parker, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Tygerberg Hospital, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Arifa Parker, Divisions of Infectious Diseases and General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Tygerberg Hospital, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Abdurasiet Mowlana, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Tygerberg Hospital, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

The lockdown and physical distancing strategies imposed to combat COVID-19 have caused seismic shifts at all levels of society. Hospitals have been particularly affected. Healthcare workers (HCW’s) wore PPE during all patient interactions and visitors were prohibited. Life for a patient became lonelier and for those with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) measures were even more severe. HCW’s must treat patients following a biopsychosocial approach and promote communication between patients and loved ones. We implemented a low cost Video Call Visit system at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town. In this article we discuss the elements of a successful implementation and potential pitfalls in the context of a pandemic, notably cross-infection and privacy. Rapid but responsible innovation using 21st century tools was required to address the many challenges of the pandemic, including improving the lived experience for patients and families. These should be intended to last after the pandemic has passed.

Keywords

communication; digital; mobile technology; video call; COVID-19; coronavirus; patient experience; social distancing

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