HMC's Diabetes Hotline Service Continues To Provide Healthcare To Patients Remotely


Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) diabetes hotline received over 9,000 calls after the team extended the hours of operation and scope of services in mid-March, and 95% of patients surveyed said they would recommend the hotline.

Dr. Mahmoud Zirie, Senior Consultant and Head of the Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department at HMC, said the dedicated hotline, a medication home delivery service, virtual consultations, and an outreach program launched in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) targeting patients who have poorly controlled diabetes.

He added, “We know that people with diabetes are considered high-risk for severe COVID-19 illness. The data demonstrates that people with diabetes have much higher rates of serious complications from this virus, compared to people without diabetes, so we took several steps to ensure patients did not unnecessarily come to the hospital. We also moved the majority of our regular outpatient appointments to telemedicine appointments and we have implemented a number of new services, including a medication and medical equipment and supplies home delivery service.”

Dr. Manal Othman, Director of Diabetes Education at HMC, said the diabetes hotline, which is managed by trained diabetes educators, provides advice in Arabic, English, and Urdu. She added most individuals who call the hotline require general advice and support but notes they also receive calls from patients who require non-emergency management of diabetes symptoms.  She said that diabetes educators play a vital role in supporting people living with diabetes to manage their condition and achieve optimal health outcomes.

Therefore, the hotline service has never been more important or more in demand. However, the public must understand that this service is for non-life-threatening conditions and that other patients must go to the emergency department or call the emergency number for diabetes emergencies.

Earlier this month the diabetes care team at the National Diabetes Center surveyed hotline users to gather feedback on patients’ overall experience using the service. Ninety-five percent of patients surveyed said they would recommend the hotline and over 90% of respondents indicated they considered the hotline to be a trusted and reliable resource for diabetes information and advice.

Courtesy QNA.