30% of Patients with Telemedicine Appointments Fail to Connect 北市聯醫視訊門診 掛號爽約率近3成

Telemedicine demand has spiked since the Central Epidemic Command Center began counting positive rapid test results as a diagnosis, pending confirmation from a doctor. However, one city councilor says on May 2, 30 percent of people with telemedicine appointments failed to connect. Taipei City Hospital says they will make adjustments to ensure no resources are wasted .

During this telemedicine consultation, the doctor asks the patient how they've been doing since testing positive. The number of telemedicine patients has soared since the Central Epidemic Command Center began counting positive rapid test results as a diagnosis, pending confirmation from a doctor.

Zen Lin, Pediatrician: “When they have a virtual appointment -- that is, when they make an appointment, it equates to them making an appointment for the same day. After we see them, we directly report (cases) to the authorities. As for patients that haven't tested positive but are in isolation and can't leave their homes, all follow-ups will be conducted virtually as well.”

One doctor says two-thirds of the patients he sees every day are telemedicine appointments. Each call lasts 10 to 20 minutes. The doctors' work day has gotten longer. Telemedicine demand is spiking, but 4,129 of 14,111 patients that made appointments with Taipei City Hospital doctors between May 12 and May 25, or close to 30 percent, failed to connect on the call. A city councilor says there were even 27 telemedicine clinics during this period that saw zero patients, although appointments had been made. The councilor says this is a waste of medical resources.

Qu Da-cheng, Superintendent, Taipei City Hospital: “Medical resources are not being wasted. This is absolutely not the case. We're seeing an extremely high number of telemedicine patients. No doctors are waiting around for patients to show up, and we make staffing adjustments on the fly when needed.”

Taipei City Hospital says its doctors saw 600 telemedicine patients on the first day after the CECC announced its rapid test diagnosis policy, followed by 900 on the second day and over 1,100 on the third and fourth days. In addition, the hospital adjusts telemedicine availability on the fly to ensure medical resources are not wasted.









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