Community Health Toolkit

Adapting Primary Healthcare Workflows for Continuity of Care During COVID-19

During pandemics, reductions in primary healthcare delivery can cause a greater loss of life than the emerging disease itself. It is critical for health systems to anticipate and monitor these declines, and reassess how to maintain care delivery - without putting health workers and their patients at risk.

Adaptations to primary healthcare (PHC) workflows enable CHWs to address both the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on the health of communities. At Medic Mobile, we’ve been working with CHT implementing partners and members of the digital health community to rapidly adapt existing primary healthcare (PHC) workflows to new care contexts to ensure both the safety of CHWs and patients - and continuity of much need care for families and individuals at the last mile.

Priorities for Adapted PHC Workflows

  • Ensure continuity of routine PHC services as COVID-19 continues to impact health systems
  • Adapt PHC workflows for a COVID-19 context to cater to non-emergent conditions
  • Modify existing assessments to limit physical contact
  • Offer remote support through call and text-first protocols
  • Contain transmission via embedded COVID-19 symptom screening within PHC workflows
  • Enable home-based care and support following WHO guidelines and national protocols

The goal of PHC adaptations is to ensure that CHT apps are adapted with workflow modifications, remote support, and product features to ensure continuity of routine primary care services during COVID-19, as well as community based symptom screening and referrals to care.

Opportunities of Adapted PHC Workflows

  • Support COVID-19 prevention, detection, and containment efforts based on partner needs
  • Create more robust and resilient health systems beyond supporting COVID-19 response
  • Ensure long-term success & sustainability by building on existing platforms and relationships
  • Create a coordinated approach that serve partners, health workers, and communities

Our goal at Medic Mobile is to adapt PHC workflows, provide remote support, and deliver product features to ensure continuity of routine primary care services that serve partners, health workers, and communities during and beyond COVID-19.

Best Practices for Adapting PHC Workflows

  • Adapt existing care protocols to ensure safety of CHWs and patients during COVID-19
  • Add in COVID-19 specific protocols when appropriate to ensure community screening and care
  • Follow program-specific, national, and global care protocols and recommendations
  • Consider mode of care delivery:
    • In-person with PPE
    • In-person at a distance
    • Via telemedicine
  • Continually monitor care delivery for disruptions, including priority PHC indicators
    • Use data to inform decision-making and support care provision

For more detailed discussion of our approach to adapting PHC workflows for continuity of care during COVID, please review this summary resource deck.

We look forward to engaging with you as our approach to adapting PHC evolves in response to this pandemic. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, please share them below!

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