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Friday, Jul 19, 2024

TeleHealth just what Penny's Bay docs ordered

TeleHealth just what Penny's Bay docs ordered

The TeleHealth service used at the Penny's Bay isolation facility on Lantau during the Covid-19 pandemic can be applied to outpatient services, the medical team that served at the facility said.
Some devices used in Penny's Bay can also be applied in the public medical system, the team added.

Set up last February 8, the facility had a multidisciplinary team of doctor, nurses and clerks, with about 150 people on hand at its peak to assist patients.

In addition to health condition assessments, symptom relief medication and outreach medical services, psychological counseling was also available.

Leung Yin-yee, doctor in charge at the facility, was responsible for training newly inducted medical professionals, including on infection control.

Volunteer nurse Ringo Kwok Chiu-nang once helped a 50-year-old woman who was suffering from mental stress due to physical discomfort and anxiety about not being able to contact her family because she did not have her mobile phone with her. Kwok said they provided her with a temporary mobile phone as well as assigned her a psychiatric nurse to ease her anxiety.

Officially closed on March 1, the facility has responded to 338,000 telephone enquiries and provided about 94,000 telemedical consultations alongside some 102,000 outreach medical services during its operation.

Jeffrey Lai Cing-hon, in charge of the Hospital Authority's community isolation facilities, said that the team gained a wealth of experience that can be applied in the future.

Lai said they gained experience getting cross-specialty teams, combining the strengths from public and private sectors, collaborating with government departments and leveraging telemedical services.

He also said TeleHealth can be applied in outpatient services, enabling patients to seek medical help at home.

"There were also medical devices such as blood pressure monitors and thermometers that can directly upload data to the public medical system without the need for nurses to manually take readings and update charts," Lai said.

Lai added that he was filled with a sense of loss when seeing the facility gate "locked," but he said that the closure is positive as it marks the end of the outbreak.
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