Exceptional primary care for exceptional times in Chile
Keywords:Primary Health Care, Organizational Innovation, COVID-19
Chile presents the highest incidence of SARS-Cov-2 worldwide. Mortality rates have increased ten-fold in Chile during the last two months. Emergency and hospital services have been overwhelmed.
A partnership between the P. Universidad Católica de Chile, regional health authorities and municipalities was developed to address the management of patients with Covid-19 pneumonia in an area of extreme poverty in Santiago.
A new program based on a 24-hour continuous clinical management of patients at primary health care centers was developed. In one month, 574 patients with Covid-19 pneumonia cared for. Only 31% had to be referred to emergency services and when home care was fully implemented 111 patients were able to return home to continue oxygen therapy and rehabilitation. The new program is a concrete innovation that represents the potentiality and adaptability of primary care and can reduce the burden of the Covid-19 epidemic in Latin America.
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