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Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820253


The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented health crisis for the general population as well as for patients with chronic illnesses such as those requiring maintenance dialysis. Patients suffering from chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis are considered a high-risk population. Multiple reports have highlighted an increased need for intensive care and higher death rates among this group of patients. Most maintenance dialysis patients are in-centre haemodialysis patients who receive treatment in shared facilities (community dialysis centres). The inability to maintain social distancing in these facilities has led to case clustering among patients and staff. This poses a substantial risk to the patients, their household members, and the wider community. To mitigate the risks of COVID-19 transmission, telemedicine was rapidly adopted in the past year by nephrologists and other allied-health staff to provide care via remote consultations and reviews. Telemedicine poses unique challenges even in an era where so much is performed online with a high degree of success and satisfaction. In applying distant clinical care for maintenance haemodialysis patients via telemedicine, there is a need to ensure adequate protection for the health and safety of patients as well as understand the ethical and legal implications of telemedicine. We discussed, in this article, these three core aspects of patient safety and quality, ethics and legal implications in telemedicine, and how each of these is crucial to the safe and effective delivery of care in general as well as unique aspects of this in Singapore.

COVID-19 , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Safety , Quality of Health Care , Renal Dialysis , Singapore/epidemiology
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 634203, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231348


Telemedicine has gained popularity during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Regular and timely physician review is an essential component of care for the maintenance of hemodialysis patients. While it is widely acknowledged that telemedicine cannot fully replace the role of physical review in this group of patients with organ failure, it can perhaps reduce the reliance on physical review or serve as a filter and triage in determining which patient requires actual physical review. The use of technology in any healthcare setting should always align with existing clinical workflow and protocols. We discuss the safety and quality aspects of this new concept applied to the satellite dialysis unit.