Coronavirus has improved how I experience care
The coronavirus pandemic has forced digital health tools to be the forefront of patient care. Fran, who is shielding, shares how this has improved how she experiences consultations.
I’m 12 weeks in and counting into shielding. It’s incredibly hard, particularly when living in a flat with no balcony or garden. But the alternative of going out onto a busy London street doesn’t bear thinking about.
How can a person cope with isolation? We’re lucky to live in a society where charities have long been an effective lifeline. The BLF helpline is never far away from reach.
But, as is often the case, crises can also be the beginning of positive changes.
Digital tools allow for a person’s choices to play a role in how their care is managed
Personally, I’m very pleased to see the increased use of the use of digital health tools and processes to help with patient care. It’s something I’ve been advocating and campaigning to be adopted more widely. It only took a pandemic to make it a reality!
I have limited mobility caused by aspergillosis and bronchiectasis. Because of this, the internet has helped me for a long time to do shopping and banking online, at any time convenient to me. GP or hospital appointments on the other hand, were a different story. During the winter, I’d get email alerts from NHS England warning me not to go outside, but would still be expected to brave public transport and busy waiting rooms to have an 8-minute conversation with a doctor.
Coronavirus forced this to change. Shielding and social distancing meant that remote consultations were advised over face-to-face appointments. I had my first video consultation instead of a scheduled appointment - what an experience it was! Being able to prepare at home, using my own laptop to look up past medical history, all the while taking a sip of good coffee was incredibly relaxing and conducive to a meaningful consultation.
I hope these practices will continue beyond coronavirus. They allow for a patient’s (or carer’s) choices, needs and circumstances to play a role in the management of their care, rather than having a particular route being forced upon them.
Have your consultations moved online, like Fran's? Learning how to use technology can help you manage your lung condition better.
Let us help you find the right apps and online tools to make your life easier! You can search for an app or read more about how technology can help you in our guide.