The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi has set up a committee to look into modalities for re-starting the OPD (Out Patient Department) services in a phased manner. The committee will also look to ensure the safety of non-Coronavirus patients and healthcare workers from getting any infection at the hospital.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Aarti Vij, Chairperson, Media and Protocol Division said, "We are planning and making all the arrangements to open OPD in a phased manner. A committee has been set up for looking into the procedures, protocols for scheduling of patients and other processes."
Moreover, all patients coming to OPD with prior appointments will go through the screening areas which will be set up. COVID suspects with mild symptoms may be asked to quarantine themselves at home as per the government guidelines. The purpose is to segregate influenza-like illness (ILI) and COVID suspects before they are further referred to go to the main OPD.
"We are also planning for a screening OPD where the patients would first get screened. The one with mild symptoms will be asked to be under home quarantine as per government protocols and will be asked to contact helplines through Aarogya Setu app for testing. For others, they would be transferred to the respective OPDs," Dr Vij said.
A large proportion of manpower and patient care facilities are being dedicated to managing COVID-19 patients. Besides, the entire AIIMS Trauma Centre has been converted into a dedicated COVID-19 hospital and the NCI Jhajjar also is treating coronavirus infected patients. The entire trauma casualty and the emergency has been shifted to the AIIMS' main emergency.
"Doctors at AIIMS are currently providing teleconsultation to all follow-up patients in an effort to reduce the need for them to visit the facility during the lockdown. Around 1000 teleconsultations are being provided per day in different departments in total and these figures are going up," Vij said.
For the first time in its history, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi shut down its OPD services, including speciality, and all new and follow-up registrations from March 24. The AIIMS had also issued a circular postponing all nonessential elective procedures and surgeries and directed that only emergency life-saving surgeries be conducted with effect from March 21.
(With agency inputs)