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Coronavirus - COVID-19 Surgical Practice

Communication with Patients

The National Healthcare Communication Programme have produced a useful guide to help and support clinicians in their difficult conversations with patients and their loved ones.

https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/our-health-service/healthcare-communication/nhcp-guidance-for-difficult-conversations.pdf

Many OPD clinics have been cancelled, curtailed or rescheduled during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, as clinics are re-instated, the capacity is likely to be limited.  In many cases, it will be preferable to avoid the need for patients to attend clinic in person.  In some cases, patients can be managed through a teleclinic.  The National Clinical programme in Surgery have issued guidance on this.

Different communication skills are required to effectively use telephone clinics to communicate with patients.  In collaboration with the National Healthcare Communications Programme, RCSI have produced a really useful online interactive course step-by-step guide to teleconsultations.  This course Is freely available to all and has been approved for 3 CPD points.

https://msurgery.ie/home/rcsi-courses/online-open-courses/

In some cases, video consultations may be appropriate.  There are several issues to carefully consider in using technology of this nature.  The Clinical Indemnity Scheme have taken the unusual step of issuing specific advice on video based teleconsultations.

https://stateclaimsagency.newsweaver.com/icfiles/4/83122/239283/544619/5edf2038e348dfe92c6c617e/risk%20advisory%20notice%20-%20telehealth.pdf

The National Healthcare Communications Programme and RCSI have produced a further online interactive course building on the teleclinic course to help all healthcare professional use video consultations safely and effectively.  This course is also freely available to all and has been approved for 3 CPD points.

https://msurgery.ie/home/rcsi-courses/online-open-courses/