Have COVID? Helplines are just a call away
Coronavirus Update, News

Have COVID? Helplines are just a call away

April 28, 2021
  • 24×7 Centralised Hospital Bed Management System
  • Full-fledged round-the-clock Helpline / War Room
  • Integrated approach to handle all virus cases

Mysore/Mysuru: With the clamour for oxygenated hospital beds only increasing by the day, the Mysuru District Administration has adopted a multipronged approach to deal with spiralling COVID cases. 

The system includes patient counselling, bed management and allocation system with integration of Helplines with triage, shifting and home isolation with round-the-clock assistance. 

A full-fledged 24×7 COVID-19 War Room — Centralised Hospital Bed Management System — in the premises of the new Deputy Commissioner’s Office (first floor) on Bannur Road, Siddarthanagar, has been set up with a dedicated phone number — 0821-2424111 — connected to multiple lines. 

In addition, there are many other phone numbers (see box) to which people can call for assistance. Already, the Helpline that has been established yesterday is receiving 200 to 300 phone calls and with the mounting cases, the calls are bound to spike. 

The COVID War Room Helpline facility was inaugurated last evening by Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri in the presence of Lt. Col. Dr. S.U. Ashok, Nodal Officer, District COVID-19 War Room. Here, patients are counselled and based on their medical condition they are prescribed home isolation, COVID Care Centres, Government or Private Hospital. They are guided based on their requirement. 

Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, Lt. Col. Dr. S.U. Ashok, Nodal Officer, District COVID-19 War Room, said that the help desk is a one-point solution for COVID-19 patients under one roof. The Helpline is an attempt to reinstate emotional well-being by providing social and emotional support needed during this time of distress. Anyone suffering from COVID or has symptoms can call and we are happy to help,” he said. 

Picture shows Helpline team at work this morning.

Counselling, need-based assistance

Explaining the mechanism, Dr. Ashok said that any patient having SRF ID or Specimen Referral Form (SRF) ID, can call the Helpline. As soon as any one of the 10-15 lines attached to the Helpline receives a call, the volunteers and officers would take details from the patient on the nature of help required. Their SRF ID is noted down along with age, co-morbidities, nature of complaints or symptoms, oxygen saturation level, fever or any other condition and the actual problem is identified.

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All symptoms like cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of appetite, persistent pain, congestion, headaches, body aches, high temperature sudden loss of smell and taste, gastric disorders, etc. are identified. 

“Staff manning the Helplines are trained to assist patients and after identifying the nature of the problem, the patient history is assessed in this triage system. We will then inform the bed management system to check bed availability, block and allot the bed to the patient in case of requirement or even if it is an emergency. If the patients are not in a position to call, their attendees or family members can call also,” Dr. Ashok explained. 

Nodal Officer Lt. Col. Dr. S.U. Ashok explaining the mechanism of iVMS software downloaded on his mobile phone that enables real-time video surveillance of the KSOU COVID Care Centre.

Bed management  

In the bed management system, members of Suvarna Aarogya Suraksha Trust identify, block and allot the beds and they inform the team to shift the patient to the blocked bed at any given hospital. Dedicated teams have been formed with ambulances to shift the patient. “We have complete details of bed availability in Government Hospitals, Medical Colleges, COVID Care Centres (CCCs), and Private Hospitals,” Dr. Ashok said. 

“As of now, there are 32 staff manning the Helplines and we will add 15 to 20 more to the teams. It is a Centralised Hospital Bed Management System and more than 20 people who need assistance can call at any given time of day or night. All calls are attended to and there is no way of patients getting ‘line busy’ message,” he explained. The Helpline is also open for anyone experiencing symptoms of depression like distress, isolation or feeling out of control.

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Turnover Time conveyed

Once a call is attended and the patient requirement is assessed, it will take the team a maximum of 30 minutes to call back the patient. “People need not call again and again. We will respond and the Turnover Time is conveyed to the patients. Going a step ahead, we are planning to computer-programme all attending and responding system and it will take a week or so. Till then the Helpline staff can handle calls and they are equipped with telephones, computers and laptops. The entire system is inter-linked,” he added. 

Dr. Ashok is also the Nodal Officer for COVID Care Centre established at the Academic Bhavan of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) at Mandakalli. Along with it, he also manages the War Room. “I have iVMS software downloaded on my mobile phone that enables real-time video surveillance of the care centre and I have access control and that’s how I manage the system,” he revealed. 

COVID Helpline

  • People in need of assistance can call

0821-2424111

0821-2957811

0821-2957711

Help desk contact details have been displayed at district website, testing centres, across all hospitals and also public places.

How the system works

  • Step 1 : Patient or relatives with Specimen Referral Form (SRF) ID calls the Helpline
  • Step 2 : Triage system is followed and patient condition, saturation, requirement of oxygen, medication is assessed 
  • Step 3 : Patient counselled not to panic and necessary immediate measures are advised
  • Step 4 : Beds are identified and blocked, patient informed about time of shifting
  • Step 5 : Patient shifted by dedicated teams in ambulances to hospital
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