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How a quick to scale remote triage solution can support healthcare staff and patients during the COVID-19 crisis

As the world continues to suffer from the impact of COVID-19, the percentage of its population that needs assessment and treatment is far higher than usual. However, healthcare systems not built to manage a pandemic.

For example, in the UK, healthcare organisations were already struggling with a workforce shortage and some of the lowest proportions of hospital beds in Europe. Frontline staff, including tens of thousands that have been called out of retirement to help meet demand, are battling on with excessive workloads and limited resources.

For many years, Capita Healthcare Decisions has delivered solutions that enable 24/7 access to professional healthcare advice and expertise, helping people avoid using emergency services and taking up hospital beds where possible. It is now more critical to do this than ever.

Using our experience and knowledge in this field, we have created the Pandemic Triage solution to support operators remotely, ensuring full utilisation of available staff and rapid up-scale to meet demand. These solutions can be up and running within weeks and can be used by clinicians and call handlers to quickly and accurately assess potential cases of COVID-19, provide advice, determine eligibility and prioritise accordingly.

Offices around the world have been closed, but technology is enabling many employees to work and conduct meetings from the safety of their own home. Why should this not be the same for some aspects of healthcare?

The Pandemic Triage solution allows healthcare workers to carry out vital patient assessments without potential exposure to the virus. It uses clinical algorithms and content that maintains consistency and refers patients to the right level of care. The software can be used across multiple channels, supporting triage via web, phone, and SMS, and can be integrated into existing GP, pharmacy or hospital systems.

This virus is new, so providing access to accurate information and guidelines to the public is crucial to mitigate the fear that leads to unnecessary hospital admissions. With access to the right advice, less severe cases can be managed and treated at home.

As we have seen in recent weeks, the situation and the required response can change day by day. The clinical algorithms employed by the Pandemic Triage solution can be easily modified and adapted as the situation develops and demands change.

As the number of virus cases continues to rise and spreads to countries with fewer hospital beds and ICUs per head of the population, finding ways to reduce the influx of patients to overburdened hospitals is essential. Remote triage will be a hugely valuable tool in supporting healthcare systems and staff manage this pandemic in the coming weeks and months.

For more information about the Capita Healthcare Decisions Pandemic Triage solution and how it can support healthcare organisations during the COVID-19 crisis, click here.