Dialogue between Healthcare providers - Why is it so important?
As the country reopens, people across counties continue to express appreciation for health care workers, especially those on the frontline, who have become symbolic heroes at the moment.
In the second week of July 2020, the Ministry of Health in Kenya announced that 257 health care workers had tested positive for COVID-19 with only one death at the time. This number of infections trigger uncertainty among healthcare workers though they have a call to duty to carry on despite the risks. So what can be done to reduce and potentially alleviate this uncertainty?
Regular and proactive communication between healthcare providers is therefore critical during a public health crisis so that ‘lessons learned’ from doctors and health facilities across the country can be shared including protocols, for others to benefit from. Some are basic like training on how to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to more complex guidelines and protocols such as changing how to safely place breathing tubes without being exposed.
The main question now is, are there any tools that can facilitate this type of exchange? Yes there are! As the world is turning to technology, innovations in healthcare have taken precedence to ensure that such type of engagement is possible. Imagine a situation where a doctor in county A can communicate directly with a doctor in county Z which is over 500km away in real time about a COVID-19 case (not through social media or whatsapp owing to the risk in data leaks)? Information sharing then becomes seamless and patient outcomes can be improved, drawn from the experiences of different doctors from different parts of the country and even the world.
With this type of exchange, evidence-based best practices that truly capture what is working and what is not can be developed, thereby giving the practitioners the much needed confidence in the fight against COVID-19.