SEOUL, Dec. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — A temporary measure approved by the government to allowed limited telemedicine services amid heightened alert over new coronavirus infections was met by contrasting views from healthcare workers and patients.
A research team from the Catholic University of Korea Eunpyeong St. Mary’s Hospital conducted a survey of 906 patients and 155 healthcare workers who participated in medical care through phone and video calls, among whom 86 percent of the patients were satisfied with the method.
In contrast, only 49.7 percent of the medical staff said likewise.
Patients gave positive responses to most questions related to convenience, mutual communication, trustworthiness, and willingness to use telemedicine services.
In contrast, the medical staff gave negative reviews for online health care services.
Roughly 10 percent of the staff said they understood the purpose, as well as the pros and cons of phone consultations, while 85.8 percent said telemedicine services were necessary in emergency situations like the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, 91.6 percent also said they struggled to describe the patient’s health condition, and 83.9 percent believed that patients themselves might have struggled to understand their current condition as well.
As for the strengths, medical staff picked convenience (53 percent) and contact-free method (22 percent) for telemedicine services. As for the weaknesses, they picked difficulties in diagnosis (55 percent) and communication with the patient (15 percent).
Roughly half of the healthcare workers surveyed said telemedicine services could not resolve the issue of post-surgery management that requires physical treatment, while 32 percent also mentioned symptomatic patients that require in-person treatment.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)