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What are the new findings?
We report the process of creating and implementing a programme to provide telehealth care for low-income patients with diagnosis or suspicion of COVID-19 in São Paulo, Brazil.
From May to July 2020, 73 volunteer residents attended 1076 patients by means of 4891 telemonitoring sessions, avoiding unnecessary visits to health services and reinforcing preventive advice.
How might it impact on healthcare in the future?
This type of voluntary programme is feasible, low cost and could be implemented elsewhere in support of pandemics.
Brazil reported its first case of COVID-19 in February 2020 and by the date of this article, the Brazilian Ministry of Health had registered 6674.999 confirmed cases and 178.159 deaths associated with COVID-19.1
In March 2020, Public Health Emergency of National Importance was declared2 and at that time, the recommendations of the Federal Council of Medicine included the suspension of outpatient care.3 As a result, telemedicine became an alternative for maintaining healthcare during the pandemic and minimising people’s exposure to crowded environments with a high risk of contagion. During the pandemic, a telemonitoring programme was implemented to provide guidance and healthcare related to COVID-19 for a low-income community in São Paulo, Brazil.
This case study aims to (1) report on the process of creating and implementing a programme for following patients with confirmed diagnosis or suspicion of COVID-19 by telemonitoring; and (2) present the barriers, facilitating elements and lessons learnt.
This is a descriptive case study, conducted at the Sociedade Beneficente de Senhoras Hospital Sírio-Libanês.
Since 2001, the Sociedade Beneficente de Senhoras Hospital Sírio-Libanês has maintained a voluntary social initiative called Abrace seu Bairro (in English, Embrace your neighbourhood), whose mission is to implement activities for improving the quality of life of low-income families from its neighbourhood, in São Paulo, Brazil. The latest health programme of the Abrace seu Bairro was conducted to provide healthcare …
Contributors Conceptualisation—ALS, TUdSG, GY, RWdS, MPPS and CL. Data acquisition—ALS, TUdSG, RLP and RR. Writing (original draft)—ALS, TUdSG, RLP and RR. Writing (review and editing)—all authors. Final approval—all authors.
Funding Sociedade Beneficiente de Senhoras Hospital Sírio-Libanês (award/grant number: NA).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.