City calls for more telemed volunteers
The city government is calling on more health practitioners to volunteer for the free telemedicine digital platform, “Bantay Covid,” being used to serve patients who are under home quarantine due to the Covid-19.
During the virtual management committee meeting of local officials, Jan. 18, Mayor Benjamin Magalong asked Health Services Office head Rowena Galpo to convene groups of doctors so he can encourage and remind them of their earlier commitment to volunteer in the program as part of their community social responsibility.
Galpo said the city currently has 1,923 home isolated patients and that the platform has 33 volunteer health workers composed of 12 doctors, 11 CHSO personnel, and 10 other volunteers with 53 calls made this month and 30 patients currently being monitored.
It was suggested that if the platform has 500 volunteers doing teleconsult with five patients each, then 2,500 can be served, Galpo said.
City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit chief Donnabel Panes said the telemedicine step-by-step process for volunteers is as follows: Register for an account and wait for its approval. Once approved, an activation link will be sent to your email; activate your account and login your account credentials. You will be redirected to your telemed dashboard; click the Start Telemed button to start a teleconsultation. The system will randomly generate a patient for you to contact and evaluate; call and evaluate the patient based on the health indicators listed in the system; submit your patient’s evaluation and you will be redirected to your telemed dashboard; and click the Start Telemed button to start a teleconsultation again.
Panes advised the public to email at [email protected] for more details on the telemedicine program.
City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office chief Antonette Anaban suggested that nurses should also be requested to volunteer in the program for the assessment of patients and possible referral to a doctor if needed.
Magalong asked for the conduct of more trainings for telemed volunteers just like those held last year on the application patterned after an ongoing program of Quezon City where volunteer doctors, through digital technology, can communicate with home quarantined individuals.
The free digital program was modified to fit the needs of Baguio’s residents and spearheaded by the CHSO in collaboration with the Management Information and Technology Division and the Baguio-Benguet Medical Society.
The mayor said the system will allow those who are under home quarantine to interact with doctors and feel the concern of local government and will also act as a monitoring device that will check on their progress and gathering of appropriate data.
He said since the city lacks adequate isolation and quarantine facilities to handle the expected surge in cases due to the Omicron variant, home quarantine is being maximized for those with asymptomatic, mild or moderate cases. – Gaby B. Keith