Isabela State University in Cauayan City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
To help medical firms concerning hospital absorptive capacity and the dearth of the medical workforce in the persisting onslaught of Covid-19, an Isabela province-based university has launched its newly developed telemedicine program.
Dubbed as “Cauayan City Covid-19 Care Consult” or “C5,” Isabela State University’s (ISU) telemedicine program is the first telehealth mechanism project rolled out on May 28 in the Cagayan Valley region.
ISU President Dr. Ricmar Aquino noted that for Covid-19 patients diagnosed asymptomatic or mild cases and who could not be accommodated in the hospitals and required to undergo self-quarantine, their “C5” program aims to facilitate telecommunication and monitoring services to the patients.
“With ‘C5,’ a Covid patient will be attended by medical personnel who will contact the patient and administer convenient medical services through mobile phones, computer or any communication devices,” Aquino said.
Initially developed for Cauayan City as it takes on Smart City concepts in improving its medical services for Covid-19, the program is in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), both in Region 2, and Dynamic Outsource Solutions Inc. (DOSI) under a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed also on May 28.
Aquino said ISU’s lead centers that worked on the program were the Health Innovation Center (HIC) and Business Intelligence Research and Development Center, along with the BPO Training Simulation Center (BPO-TSC).
Jolo Galabay, HIC director, said telemedicine offers a 24/7 nursing intervention for 14 days with monitoring and consultation every four hours.
Galabay explained that the telemedicine will be operated by a group of allied health professionals and faculty members from ISU College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Midwifery and College of Arts and Sciences who will be working in close coordination with Cauayan City Health Office (CHO).
He said the program would be tapping as well the services of ISU students from the allied health courses. This will serve as their medical immersion under their related learning experience (RLE) in place of in-person field engagement.
“ISU students will be monitored by clinical instructors upon generating consolidated reports to be regularly submitted to the CHO,” he said.
Also a clinical instructor at ISU, Galabay said the program would allow an immediate medical response from the CHO based on the recommendations of licensed medical practitioners in cases of emergency or worsened condition experienced by the patient under monitoring.
In addition to Covid-19 care consult, telemedicine also offers mental health services through Psychology student-practitioners, he added.
Aquino expressed thanks to their partners in making the project come to realization saying “C5” development started from a testing project for students to a full-blown health innovation to combat Covid-19 through the help of their partner institutions.
“[We] hope that we could start to help especially our frontliners, our hospitals and our existing quarantine facilities which could not anymore accommodate all these Covid-19 patients,” he said.
Aquino said they are hoping that after piloting this project, the university can extend this project not only in the province of Isabela but also in Region 2 which comprises the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and the island province of Batanes.
Meanwhile, Cauayan City Mayor Bernard Dy has signified his interest in expanding the telemedicine operations as a smart healthcare innovation for Covid-19, saying it is something to be broadcast and shared.
Edgardo Cayton, DOSI president, assured of the program’s role in establishing health communications which have been a primary need during the health crisis. DOSI has partnered with Cauayan City and ISU in setting up the BPO-TSC some years ago.
Cayton said the telemedicine program represents the speed by which the leaders of Cauayan City have presented, that is, a solution to the Covid-19 situation.
Engr. Sancho Mabborang, DoST Region 2 director, said he believes the program to be responsive to the health system improvement in the region.
“I would like to congratulate ISU for always coming up with innovations, improvements, and for not stopping in its contribution to R&D [research and development] and to other projects that will help the community,” Mabborang said.
The project also received a commendation from CHEd Region 2 director, Dr. Julieta Paras. A five-day training workshop has been designed by CHEd to introduce the allied health staff in approaching the telemedicine program.
“This signifies that ISU is committed not only to render quality higher education but also to extend relevant services to the community. This is a very timely and appropriate avenue in providing gainful experience using the online technology,” Paras said.