The Helsinki-Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) on Friday started remote appointments offering care service for the patients through the Medical Helpline to see a doctor via video, said an official press release.
The convenient remote appointment service to be offered to residents in Lohja, Porvoo and Raseborg who seek urgent care by calling Medical Helpline’s toll-free number 116117.
The call is taken by a nurse who assesses the caller’s treatment needs and gives recommendations on how to proceed.
If a remote appointment is suitable considering the caller’s symptoms, wishes, and overall situation, a video appointment with a doctor will be held in Maisa, the online portal for health care customers.
The service is now extended based on the evidence of a pilot project that showed high patient satisfaction and good outcomes. The pilot took place in Jorvi, Peijas and Hyvinkää emergency departments.
A study conducted at HUS evaluated the success of the remote appointment pilot. According to the not yet non-peer-reviewed study, 96% of patients reported receiving the help they needed from the service. Ninety-seven percent of patients said that the video appointment was easy and convenient. Patient feedback also highlighted that the remote appointments were seen as safe and clear, and patients felt that the care was respectful.
“We found that video appointments offer a high-quality service to patients whose situation does not require a physical visit to the emergency department. Many of our patients already know to ask for this convenient service. I’m very happy that we can extend it to new regions. The study we conducted showed that we can very accurately pinpoint the treatment needs of the patients who call the Medical Helpline. To ensure patient safety, we direct patients with symptoms that meet certain criteria to the actual emergency department,” said Chief Physician Arja Kobylin who participated in the study and the pilot project.
Remote video appointments are available on Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and on midweek holidays.
The service is intended for people over 16 years old. Extending the service to Lohja, Porvoo and Raseborg will not reduce the regional need for emergency department doctors but will help to optimize the use of nursing staff time and remote work opportunities.
- Remote urgent care