HMC Uses ‘Virtual Clinics’ to Provide Specialist Care to Children with Special Needs
In late April, the Child Development Center at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) introduced virtual clinics for its medical and therapy programmes.
The initiative, which uses VSee telemedicine solution to provide medical consultations via video conferencing, is part of a nationwide effort to assure continuity of care for paediatric patients with mental and physical disabilities and developmental and learning delays, while also helping reduce the spread of COVID-19, limiting the number of patients being treated in clinical spaces.
Dr Lubna Hassan Dekir, Acting Director and senior consultant at the Child Development Center in Rumailah Hospital, said that remote consultations are helping keep both healthcare workers and patients safe while ensuring patients and their families, receive the specialist care they need.
The virtual consultation initiative is allowing direct communication between doctors and their patients and we have found that most patients and most treatment programmes can be effectively managed remotely.
She said that technology is allowing their specialists to safely check-in on patients, talk to their parents, recommend exercises and answer questions. In cases where patient families are not comfortable with video calls, doctors can provide advice over the telephone.
Dr Dekir said that the addition of video conferencing to the telemedicine service is allowing specialists to better care for patients, providing doctors with a platform to directly observe a child’s behaviour and to better support parents in providing individualised clinical recommendations.
According to Fatima Mustafa, Assistant Director of the Child Development Center for Rehabilitation Services, telemedicine is allowing healthcare teams at the Child Development Center to continue caring for young patients with developmental delays and emotional or behavioural conditions.
We have been able to successfully adapt many of our programmes to virtual consultations. Our multi-disciplinary teams are all working together to ensure our patients continue to have access to the care they need, and right now that means connecting with patients remotely, while they are in their own home.
Having access to a child’s home life can be beneficial when caring for patients with special needs as it allows physicians to observe parent-child interactions that are more representative of a child’s normal behaviour.
For more information about the virtual clinics of HMC, visit hamad.qa.