Dr. Jaka Strel is a general practitioner who works at a private practice with two other GPs and a kinesiologist. Their practice is located in a small town with 6000 inhabitants. The closest community health centre and hospital are a 50-minute drive away. This is a daily challenge – along with many others faced by all GP practices, no matter where they are.
Five years ago, Dr. Strel’s practice decided to go wireless and digital to help deal with the issues. Going digital was not simple as every novelty requires changes at the system level. Nevertheless, the introduction of the MESI mTABLET made this process a lot easier.
Dr. Strel reports:
The MESI mTABLET system has an intuitive interface, all the data is stored in one place, and you can share it with health professionals at hospitals, nurses at your practice, and specialists elsewhere.
Dr. Strel discussed a number of different GP practice issues where digital technology could be beneficial.
Challenge 1: Limited resources
This issue became highly acute during COVID-19, when the time available at GP practices was shorter than ever. In this, the slowness of the old (analogue) solutions became highly apparent, such as:
- difficult implementation of (infection) control protocols,
- poor device interoperability,
- redistribution of resources, which affected the workflow.
The MESI mTABLET offers diverse diagnostic measurements on one device: ECG, spirometry, SPO2, ABI, TBI, and a blood pressure monitor as well as additional clinical apps such as Protocol to effectively guide the medical professional through the patient interviewing and examination process.
Challenge 2: Effective management of frequent medical situations
Symptoms often encountered at GP practices are chest pain and dyspnea. Such situations can be urgent; for this reason, they require effective triage and well-structured information gathering. This is why Dr. Strel’s practice created its own chest pain/dyspnea protocol in the MESI mTABLET Protocol app. https://player.vimeo.com/video/438534747?h=a9ee2db418&dnt=1&app_id=122963Performing measurements according to the selected protocol.
The nurse uses the protocol to interview the patient (e.g. about when the pain started and about its severity), takes the ECG, and measures the SPO2 and blood pressure. The doctor then reviews the results and examines the patient. In this, all the results are available in one place – the Protocol app itself. The digital ECG can be easily compared to the patient’s previous ones (if available), and instantly shared with specialists when needed.
Challenge 3: Management of chronic patients
Another example when a protocol can be useful are chronic patients. At Dr. Strel’s practice, protocols are used for many chronic patient categories, in combination with specific diagnostic measurements offered by the MESI mTABLET, for example:
- Toe-Brachial Index: for diabetic patients, dialysis patients, lymphoedema and extensive wounds,
- 6-minute walk test: for assessing functional capacity in patients with COPD and heart failure.
Challenge 4: Preventive health examinations
Dr. Strel’s practice has developed a unique fitness check method. Every year, they organise a large-scale preventive fitness exam, attracting numerous people from around the country.
The challenge of preventive health exams in general is the amount of data to collect, store and process. For this reason, it is useful to create a protocol for all this to be as fast as possible. The preventive health examinations at Dr. Strel’s practice combine health questionnaires, lab results, ECG, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, spirometry, the Ankle-Brachial Index, physical fitness examination and body composition. Most of this data can be stored in the MESI mRECORDS on the MESI mTABLET.
Problem 5: Home visits
Dr. Strel’s practice uses the MESI mTABLET system for home visits by their patronage outreach nurse. The visits are mostly made to older patients with high frailty index (party or completely disabled). The MESI mTABLET and all its diagnostic modules fit into a single bag. The most frequent measurements performed at home visits are ABI, TBI and ECG. The nurse carries out the measurements procedure and shares the results with the doctor, who can determine further steps of treatment or share the measurements with specialists.
The mission of Dr. Strel’s practice is to provide high-quality and accessible medical practice. This is why they put a lot of effort in the optimisation of their work processes, quality and safety. Dr. Strel is convinced that all healthcare providers can benefit from portable, wireless and digital tools: