WhatsApp Consultations in the Department of Electrophysiology of a Public Hospital of the City of Buenos Aires in Times of COVID-19

Fernando Di Tommasso, Mario Fitz Maurice, Paula Sastre, Alfredo Hirschson Prado, Enrique Dominé, Pablo Agüero, Adrián baranchuk

Abstract


Background: Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is highly infectious. Telemedicine emerges as an option to keep patients within thehealthcare system.Objective: The aim of this study was to implement WhatsApp consultations during 30 days in a hospital of the City of Buenos Aires(CABA) during the lockdown imposed due to COVID-19.Methods: Consultations via WhatsApp were analyzed for 30 consecutive days. A form was sent prior to telephone consultation withthe specialist. A descriptive analysis of consultations and proposed follow-up plans was carried out.Results: A total of 263 consultations were performed in 205 patients. The average number of telephone consultations was 7.8 messages.The most common topics for consultation were palpitations (12%) and influenza vaccine (11.7%). Follow-up was divided intogroups: 1) Solved via WhatsApp: 154 patients; 2) Referred to a local hospital: 25; 3) Referred to our hospital: 26 patients.Conclusion: Telemedicine via WhatsApp can be developed in public hospitals of CABA, with a substantial reduction of in-personconsultations.

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Revista argentina de cardiología. ISSN en línea 1850-3748. Argentine journal of cardiology (English ed. Online ISSN 2314-2286) Sociedad Argentina de Cardiología. Azcuénaga 980 (C1115AAD),Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, República Argentina. Tel. (54 11) 4961-6027/8/9 Fax: 4961-6020 www.sac.org.ar revista@sac.org.ar