The worrying spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its relatively high infection rate, is a problem in itself for hospitals and healthcare institutions. The challenge that overloaded hospitals face in providing medical assistance to COVID-19 patients is increasingly dire, with the risk of transmission to other patients, doctors, and healthcare workers within the hospital.
The hundreds of doctors and healthcare workers who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus are evidence of the virus’ rapid spread, which cannot be contained without a vaccine. In light of this, hospitals and healthcare institutions require the support of new innovative technologies that can address this issue.
Hospitals and other healthcare institutions urgently need to implement innovative telehealth technology services, as is the case with Tarakan Regional General Hospital (RSUD), which is assisting the government in treating COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Dian Ekowati, D.M.D., M.H.A., the Director of Tarakan Hospital, acknowledged the increasing number of COVID-19 patients requiring acute care in both the hospital and the intensive care unit (ICU) and of asymptomatic patients who are confirmed positive. Telehealth services may be a safer choice for patients in that they can reduce the possibility of being exposed to the virus.
At the same time, these technologies can also reduce pressure on the healthcare system by minimizing spikes in the number of patients in hospital facilities, and reducing the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) among healthcare workers.
“In collaboration with Telkomtelstra, we ensure that the Tarakan Hospital community will continue to have access to healthcare services while practicing social distancing to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission,” stated Dian.
“Using telehealth solutions, the hospital can answer patients’ questions and discuss issues remotely in real-time, just like regular hospital visits, but from the comfort of the patient’s home,” explained Dian.
Telkomtelstra, in collaboration with ipSCAPE, Oracle and SME, has presented innovative technological solutions through Cloud Contact Center and Digital Customer Engagement to implement telehealth at Tarakan Hospital. With these innovative technologies, hospitals and specialists can continue to provide healthcare services in the form of consultations with non-COVID polyclinic patients, thereby reducing the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 while visiting the hospital, while simultaneously expanding the number of safe services available to more patients.
Agus F Abdillah, Telkomtelstra’s Chief Customer Officer, explained that Cloud Contact Center and Digital Customer Engagement technology solutions can assist Tarakan hospital to remotely monitor and assess the condition and pre-existing medical records of patients who are infected or suspected of being exposed to COVID-19. This solution is provided to polyclinics with a high risk of COVID-19 and comorbidity, including pulmonary specialists, ENT specialists, internal medicine specialists, cardiologists, and neurologists.
Armed with these two technologies, hospitals can identify illnesses and provide appropriate care, while reducing physical interactions between medical personnel and patients. As a means of protecting medical personnel from the risk of COVID-19, these technologies also transparently store all medical records as a form of digital doctor-patient interaction.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to support Tarakan Hospital in providing telehealth solutions that aim to prevent non-critical patients from physically visiting the hospital,” stated Agus.
The Cloud Contact Center solution allows hospitals to make long-distance outgoing calls to patients who register through the hospital website or are referred by local health clinics to verify personal documents and further assess the information provided. “Then, the Contact Center agent will guide the patient in accessing our other technological solution, Digital Customer Engagement, which allows them to schedule and conduct online video consultations with a doctor at the hospital,” explained Agus.
Agus added that Telkomtelstra’s door is wide open to collaborations with other hospitals in implementing these two solutions, which can be initiated through a proof of concept (POC)/ committed trail scheme. Telkomtelstra collaborates with ipSCAPE, a leading Cloud Contact Center Company, to provide solutions that offer healthcare workers and hospitals a safe and convenient way to conduct patient examinations and gather important information prior to in-person consultations.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ipSCAPE has supported numerous global business with its leading cloud solutions to enable flexible work arrangements and ensure business continuity for call center activities, including customer service and sales endeavors.
“IpSCAPE is proud to partner with Telkomtelstra in delivering cloud customer experience technologies to support the implementation of ‘virtual first’ in hospitals during the COVID pandemic,” explained ipSCAPE CEO Fiona Boyd.
“With the increasing demand for hospital services and support during the pandemic, Cloud Contact Center can improve customer experience and hospital responsiveness while safely handling all enquiries. ipSCAPE provides customer service technologies that allow patients to receive hospital services remotely without the need for physical visitations in the case of non-emergency situations,” added Fiona.
For Digital Customer Engagement, Telkomtelstra is supported by Oracle’s Digital Experience Solution technology. The collaboration with Oracle expands hospitals’ telehealth capabilities to provide virtual, video-based patient consultations with doctors and specialists. Patients can now receive primary care consultations from their home, workplace, or any other choice of location. “With the advancement of various technological features to ensure the application of social distancing during the pandemic, it is extremely important to implement technological solutions that can facilitate remote doctor consultations, either from the patient’s home or office. Oracle is extremely happy to be able to support Telkomtelstra in providing digital experience technologies that allow patients to receive this medical care when needed,” stated Jason Rutherford, SVP & GM of Oracle Communications Applications.(*)