Over month after the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, QualiMed Health Network launched TeleCheQ, its telemedicine service being delivered in partnership with KonsultaMD (for technology interface) and BizBox (for electronic health records). With TeleCheQ, patients can now avail of online doctor consultation from the safety of their homes.
There has been limited movement within communities since the ECQ in Luzon and in some major provinces was enforced due to COVID-19. Only those considered as essential services were allowed to operate in support of the government’s mandate to “flatten the curve.” Meanwhile, the rest of the population are expected to stay home.
QualiMed Health Network – the healthcare provider partnership between the Mercado medical group and Ayala Land, Inc. – has since opened its 4 general hospitals to take in COVID patients in need of care. To maximize the network’s pool of medical professionals, a temporary closure of its 4 Luzon clinics and 1 surgery center was enforced. This move was taken to provide the hospitals with a medical team on standby in case more will be needed in the battle against COVID-19. As the pandemic is expected to take a while to be fully resolved, QualiMed is taking strategic steps to focus its resources and find new ways to serve its patients while scientists around the world are searching for a long-term cure.
“We recognize the urgency and criticality of treating our COVID patients. It is a difficult call that we must heed as medical professionals. However, we can’t discount the plight of our non-COVID patients – their healthcare needs don’t stop just because they are required to stay home. During this period, their wellness matters most so continuity of care provision without exposing them to risks is a must,” said Dr. Jose Tecson III, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs of QualiMed.
“These difficult times demand new adjustments so we can better serve our communities. With TeleCheQ, our patients can continue to consult with our doctors for their healthcare needs. Our doctors have started taking in patients with complaints as basic as colds, eye irritation, and allergies, to patients in need of psychiatric counseling. What we are offering is the power of technology and medical science, working for the benefit of our patients. This is a new norm in healthcare borne out of need of the times; however, we plan to provide TeleCheQ even after this COVID-19 pandemic is over,” added Dr. Edwin Mercado, President and CEO of QualiMed.
In this light, QualiMed teamed up with KonsultaMD, a 24/7 telehealth provider owned by Globe Telecom’s 917 Ventures and Mexico’s Salud Interactiva, for free use of the latter’s video platform that allows TeleCheQ doctors to virtually meet with their patients.
“Being a telemedicine provider for five years now, we understand the importance of having quick, easy, and affordable access to licensed doctors whenever and wherever it is needed. In our current situation, this becomes more significant since we do not want to unnecessarily burden our hospitals and medical practitioners who are handling critical and urgent cases. We are, therefore, glad to share our technology with QualiMed so that together, we can help keep our countrymen safe and healthy,” said Maridol Ylanan, CEO of Global Telehealth, Inc. which operates KonsultaMD.
QualiMed has formed 4 teletriage teams for hospitals (base facilities: Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center – Batangas, QualiMed Hospital – Iloilo, QualiMed Hospital – San Jose Del Monte, and QualiMed Hospital – Sta. Rosa); 1 teletriage team for surgery centers (base facility: QualiMed Surgery Center – Manila); and 1 teletriage team for clinics (base business unit: QualiMed Corporate Health Solutions). Each teletriage team is tasked to connect patients to doctors affiliated with the base facility nearest the patient. With this process, patients can physically consult with their doctors as needed once the ECQ order is lifted. (Jonathan Castillo)