Internet hospital service welcomed by patients and doctors

The Internet hospital service has taken up about 10 percent of outpatient services for patients in line for follow-up visits, Shanghai Chest Hospital officials said.

During the pandemic, the service covered up to 30 percent of the total outpatient crowd, improving efficiency and reducing crowding, it said.

This is the only local hospital where all departments are available in online clinic.

Patients who need follow-up visits can register online through the hospital’s public WeChat account and select doctors to reserve an online consultation. Doctors can then offer online services and arrange for necessary checks. All payments and reservations by check are also processed online.

Patients only need to go to the hospital for examinations like a CT scan and go home for another internet hospital service.

“Typically, patients have had to go to the hospital three times because CT scans cannot be reserved on the same day with the first doctor’s visit,” said Peng Hong of Shanghai Chest Hospital. “The whole process was cumbersome and tedious, especially for patients from other provinces.

“Many patients who have undergone surgery or have pulmonary nodules need regular and long-term check-ups and consultations. Internet hospital saves them a lot of time and effort for repeated hospital visits. All top experts are available in online clinic.”

In order to encourage patients to use the online service, the hospital has set more quotas for the service of top experts online than offline, according to Peng.

A new internet hospital version with an English introduction by medical experts will be released soon for overseas patients, the hospital said.

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dr Chen Qunhui of Shanghai Chest Hospital answers patients’ online consultation through Internet hospital service.

One patient said the service was convenient and private.

“It saves trouble and time for repeated hospital visits,” said the patient, surnamed Liu, who underwent lung cancer surgery in the hospital last year.

“The doctors just checked my CT report and assured me that my condition after the operation is stable. She also answered my questions and gave me links to science education. The whole process was not interrupted by other patients and I felt free to ask questions.

“Because all the explanations and clarifications of all the doctors are online, I can check the information from time to time. This is very important and better than going offline because I can’t write it all down so quickly.”

A 57-year-old British patient also received satisfactory responses through the online service. She updated the report of her last check-up for the doctor’s review and received a very detailed explanation.

Medical professionals also welcome such a service method, which saves them time, increases efficiency and creates a better hospital environment.

“When registering for the online service, patients are required to provide a brief and clear explanation of their previous treatment and condition, which is very helpful for any doctor,” said Dr. Chen Qunhui from the hospital’s radiology department.

“We can understand the patient’s situation fundamentally and provide quick, targeted and appropriate advice. We can also select those with complicated medical conditions who really need offline service for further examinations and even surgeries from online consultation. This helps conserve limited medical resources for patients who need them.”

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