As the COVID-19 situation evolves, TeleConsultation is being rapidly adopted by organisations around the world to provide healthcare for employees both domestically and those still overseas. In March, International SOS experienced an almost four-fold increase in TeleConsultation case volumes. The organisation has also introduced TeleConsultation, to now be available in 17 countries and territories worldwide, including India. The service provides fast access to a local doctor via video, without the need to physically visit a local clinic or hospital, therefore avoiding the potential exposure to COVID-19 or putting additional strain on healthcare systems.
Mr Neeraj Balani, Managing Director, International SOS India, said, “TeleConsultation service is understandably becoming a growing necessity for the new working environment of the global workforce. With people having to work from home and under various levels of lockdown restrictions, virtual access to a dependable & and appropriate medical care is a must. In addition to immediate reassurance to employees, TeleConsultation solutions also help to reduce the cost, time and the health risk of contracting COVID-19 usually associated with visiting local healthcare providers. Consequently, it helps organisations to ensure business continuity, Deliver Duty of Care and H&S requirements, Minimise travel security risks, Reduce medical costs and provide a global health care solution for the travelling workforce.”
Dr Rahul Kalia, Medical Director, International SOS, India expressing his views said “TeleConsultation usage is growing daily, as organisations seek more ways to protect their people with access to healthcare in the current situation. Ensuring the workforce is kept healthy is a key factor contributing to business resilience and will be vital to whether these uncertain times until a return to more stable business practices and health scenarios. International SOS is advising its members to call our medical experts for advice or if they feel unwell. With an efficient TeleConsultation service, our members can see a local doctor face to face but in a virtual environment. The employees of member organisations can connect directly with one of our highly experienced medical professionals via phone, instant messaging and video where feasible.”
International SOS has a unique global network of local TeleConsultation providers, who are selected and credentialed to ensure high quality, seamless access to care. The network providers operate in compliance with local regulation where the patient is located to deliver clinical services, with the ability to prescribe medication to patients when needed, write valid referrals for additional care or diagnostics and understand the local healthcare environment and current risk factors. Providers are typically available within an hour, and can either e-prescribe to a nearby pharmacy, or, in certain cities, arrange medication delivery.
Dr Kalia continues, “When further in-person diagnostics or treatment is recommended, the International SOS medical teams are able to coordinate the care plan and deliver an end-to-end service to optimise clinical outcomes and patient experience.”
International SOS was the first organisation globally to receive ISO/TS 13131 for TeleConsultation services.