Better understanding of the teleconsultation tool in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
As part of the fight against the propagation of the COVID-19 epidemic, the government has commissioned the eSanté Agency to very quickly set up a teleconsultation solution to enable remote consultations between doctors, dentists or midwives and patients. In the current emergency situation, teleconsultation is a key element in the organisation of the health system set up in Luxembourg during the COVID-19 pandemic, because it limits travel as well as human-to-human contacts and therefore the risks of contamination.
The teleconsultation solution, hosted on a recognised Luxembourg platform, has been up and running for two weeks. Every day, the number of appointments between health care professionals and patients increases.
As a result, the platform now has almost 600 registered doctors, more than 4,000 registered patients and almost 3,000 teleconsultations already carried out.
With the increasing use of this new practice, health professionals and patients alike are asking many questions. These often relate to good teleconsultation practices or the functioning of the teleconsultation solution.
To better answer the various questions, the National Health Fund (Caisse nationale de Santé - CNS) and the eSanté Agency, together with the Health Directorate, the Medical College, the Higher Council for Certain Health Professions, the Association of Doctors and Dentists and the Luxembourg Association of Midwives, have set up several initiatives.
They first developed a joint explanatory document on the specific rules for teleconsultation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (see annex to this press release). This document, which is intended for both, health professionals and patients, will be published on the sites of the entities that contributed to the drafting of the document.
Together they have also developed a tutorial for patients which, in 4 parts, explains how to use the teleconsultation platform. Patients can access these tutorials on the CNS and eSanté Agency websites. The first part of the tutorial provides general information and explains how to register on the teleconsultation platform. The second part of the tutorial explains how to make a medical appointment. Part 3 deals with the conduct of the teleconsultation and part 4 explains what happens after teleconsultation (including the electronic sending of documents).
Nearly 390 coronavirus patients monitored by the MAELA telemonitoring tool
Since 30 March 2020, the remote monitoring tool for COVID-19 patients, MAELA, has been operational throughout Luxembourg. Selected on behalf of the Health Directorate by a committee of experts representing various health stakeholders, this solution has already been deployed in all hospitals, the Château de Colpach Convalescence Centre and a centralised Health Directorate platform. Also in this context, the website https://suivicovid.lu/ has been set up, providing access to the solution in 5 languages.
This system allows remote monitoring of all patients who test positive for COVID-19; both those who are in isolation at home and those who have just been discharged from hospital. It thus makes it possible to limit the spread of the virus and relieve congestion in healthcare structures, while offering patients follow-up by qualified professionals in complete safety.
As soon as the patient is voluntarily enrolled in this national telemonitoring system (carried out by the hospital at the time of discharge, or by the Health Inspection after receipt of positive laboratory results), the patient must answer a short medical questionnaire on a daily basis for 2 weeks. The follow-up, carried out by a team of professionals from the Health Directorate, thus makes it possible to identify a possible need for assistance or a worsening of the patient's situation.
As of 9 April 2020, 388 patients have been accompanied in their convalescence at home by this new tool.
Press release by the Ministry of Health, the eSanté and the National Health Fund