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Communication tools in the COVID-19 era and beyond which can optimise professional practice and patient care


Following the outbreak of the novel SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the World Health Organization made a number of recommendations regarding the utilisation of healthcare services. In general, there has been a reduction in elective healthcare services including outpatient clinics, diagnostic services and elective surgery. Inevitably these reductions for all but the most urgent clinical work will have a detrimental impact on patients, and alternative ways of working including the use of telemedicine may help to mitigate this. Similarly, electronic solutions may enable clinicians to maintain inter and intra-professional working in both clinical and academic settings. Implementation of electronic solutions to minimise direct patient contact will be new to many clinicians, and the sheer number of software solutions available and varying functionality may be overwhelming to anyone unfamiliar with ‘virtual communication’. In this article, we will aim to summarise the variety of electronic communication platforms and tools available for clinicians and patients, detailing their utility, pros and cons, and some 'tips and tricks' from our experience through our work as an international research collaborative.

  • clinical decision-making
  • health services administration
  • health services research

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