PCMC, VMMC share best practices via telementoring
By: Katherine Babaran, September 14, 2012

PCMC, VMMC shares best practices via telementoringReal-time information dissemination among two distant parties could be just a piece of cake. Likewise, on how feasible it is to conduct training and facilitate learning among hospitals through telementoring with the assistance of the Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET).

Telementoring, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is the process of monitoring or providing directions from a distance by using audio, video, and other telecommunications and electronic information processing technologies. It makes the exchange and dissemination of information a lot easier for many medical practitioners, like what the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) and Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) conducted last 11 September 2012.

Dr. Norman Eric F. Fajardo, an Ophthalmologist of PCMC, recently gave a lecture titled “Pediatric Eye Examination: Practical Approach” to the residents of the VMMC through telementoring. The primary purpose of said lecture was to provide training for said residents who do not normally see  children patients yet undergo into a rotation in a children’s hospital. This activity is very efficient in training residents coming from distant hospitals since they can have necessary information close at hand.

According to the Ophthalmology Department Head of VMMC, Dr. June T. Mendiola,“The evaluation with children is much, much different from how we deal with elderly people.” Since the VMMC residents deal mostly with elderly people, they would need more exposure in pediatric cases. Thus, having this telementoring activity, will help them facilitate learning regarding the pediatric eye examination.

Dr. Fajardo said that telementoring is useful not only in facilitating training and learning, but also in information sharing. If there is an audio-visual interaction, they can easily see different cases and they can easily perform the right action. Dr. Fajardo added, “It (can) facilitate information dissemination and patient-consultation, especially in other government hospitals that do not have specialty in Pediatric Ophthalmology.”

Telementoring provides immediate transfer of information which is significant for underserved hospitals.  If this would apply in hospitals which do not have proficient medical practitioners, then they could have better diagnosis among their patients. It will not only build the competitiveness of the hospital, but also the health care of their respective patients.

On the other hand, notable feedbacks were relayed to the PREGINET service, such as having high quality video, fast connection, and real-time interaction, which are all significant in telementoring.