The Coronavirus pandemic has wrought significant and devastating effects on all of us.
From the heart-wrenching pains of deceased husbands, wives, grandparents and sometimes children to the societal effects of widespread unemployment and economic devastation, this has had to be one of the most impactful events in the history of the world.
The coronavirus epidemic has revealed a number of shortcomings in various aspects of our society, including our healthcare system. It has revealed that we were unprepared for this onslaught, resulting in more deaths than should have happened.
We were unprepared in terms proper equipment, and in terms of an infrastructure necessary to respond in a timely fashion in providing the appropriate testing, identification, contact tracing and isolation that would have lessened the medical impact of this disease.
Our healthcare system failed us.
However, there were good lessons learnt by our healthcare system as a result of this pandemic. It established new norms in diagnosis and care of some illness. The pandemic has brought to the fore something that doctors had known for a long time, and was emphasized to all doctors in medical school, and that is, that 90% of diagnoses can be made on a good medical history and appropriate lab testings.
Physical examination contributes only about 10% of necessary information in making a diagnosis. With this, Telemedicine, by necessity, has emerged as an efficacious modality in the diagnosis and care of patients.When given the chance to perform as a result of the pandemic, it has proven itself to be as equally satisfactory as a regular doctor’s office visit.
Telemedine has now become an accepted tool in the tool-box of patient care. It is now in the court of the pecuniary-minded insurance companies to embrace the healthcare of the future.