Covid-19: Kwesimentsim Hospital adopts tele-consulting

Authorities at the Kwesimentsim Government Hospital in the Effia Kwesimentsim Municipal Assembly of the Western Region are adopting tele-consulting to help decongest the Out-Patients Department (OPD) in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Medical Superintendent Dr. Osei Frimpong explained that instead of all categories of patients coming to the hospital which could cause congestion, they will be put in different populations and called on phone for consultation.

“What we mean by telephone consultation is that some of our patients are not critically ill… they will be contacted on phone. We have all their data here. We have started sorting out the different populations and their contact details.”

Dr. Osei Frimpong in an exclusive interview with said they will start with diabetic and hypertension patients who only have to come to the hospital for drug refill or with minor complaints.

“Our first population we are considering is those with diabetes and hypertension. We have a clinic for them. Most of them will come for just drugs. So, what we intend to do is speak with them on phone instead of they coming to the hospital. We will let them check their BP, Sugar levels in the house. Most of them have their Glucometer and BP apparatus in the house. In a case, the patient has no such thing, we will encourage they go to a nearby clinic. Or you know there are pharmacy shops who are doing wellness clinic. They will check the RBS or FBS for us. So, we will ask you that tomorrow we will be calling for consultation, can you check the RBS, FBS. So, the following day when we call, we will take the figures.”

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He stated that currently they have been able to sort out the contact details of 43 out of the 110 of the first population and are hoping to roll out the telephone consultation from Friday, April 3.

“The second population we will consider, will be people who have come to see us already and have been given labs and other things to come for review. Most of the Mondays, we have a pack of them coming to flood the hospital. For them when the labs are ready and we are supposed to give you medication, we will ask you if we can do telephone consultation so that with the labs and what we discuss, we can give you drugs on phone.”

He added: “For our ante-natal clinic we are also thinking about scheduling them. You know with our pregnant patients their cases are very peculiar so we will not do telephone-consultation but scheduling. Scheduling means, we will call them on phone and give them different times to come to the hospital. We have four consulting rooms for our ante-natal clinic. Each has a midwife sitting there waiting to see a patient. So we will pick the population who will come for ante-natal today and give them specific time to come instead all of them coming together. For example, we will call patient A,B and C and tell them can you get to the facility between 10:00am and 10:30am because that is the time we want to see you don’t come earlier to cause congestion. After, we will tell patient E, F and G to come between 11:00am and 11:30am. So as the time runs on, you see that every patient will be seen, as you are going out the next will be coming in.”

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The hospital has also set up a pre-triage area at the main entrance to screen both patients and relatives before they are allowed access into the facility.

“Before any person enters the hospital, we ensure that the person will wash the hands and go through the pre–triage process. We have a screening tool that takes the history of the patient, whether you have fever, whether you are coughing and travel history. So, if someone fits the case description, we isolate the person and immediately activate the necessary protocols. Only on Saturday, we had one person, we suspected. We took the person through the necessary protocols. We are waiting for the test results. This area was set up three weeks ago and I will say it has been useful,” Abigail Naa Ayi, the Infectious, Prevention and Control Focal Person of the hospital, said.

The hospital has mounted three separate sinks with a hand dryer at its three entry points for use by persons who enter.

The Administrator of the hospital, Felix Osei Kessie, explained that their decision to erect sinks and hand dryers instead of Veronica Buckets is to ensure constant availability of water.

“We don’t want a situation where there will be no water or tissue and we will have to be running around looking for the one who is supposed to restock.”

He revealed to that a suspected coronavirus case – which sample was sent over the weekend – has tested negative.

“Last Saturday, at the pre-triage area, we took samples of a Malian selling clothes at the Market Circle because when we ran the checks, it fit the case description. But, on Monday at about 7:30pm when we received the result it was negative. So Kwesimentsim hospital has not recorded any case.”

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By Eric Yaw Adjei||Ghana