COVID emergency: an opportunity to increase the interaction between hepatologist and primary care physician

Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2020 Dec;66(4):328-330. doi: 10.23736/S1121-421X.20.02713-0. Epub 2020 Jun 2.


The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide had evidenced the opportunity to increase the interaction between specialist and primary care physician (PCP). COVID 19, started in December 2019 in China, has been considered a public health emergency by the Department of Health and Human Services and, now, it is a pandemic disease with worldwide diffusion. The COVID-19 crisis permits to increase the role of telemedicine as a tool for the delivery of health care services at distance and to slow down the virus diffusion. This technology is cheap and easy to use but it is limited by governmental licensing restrictions, reimbursement barriers, lesser extent of infrastructure and difficulties related to the change. During COVID-19 epidemy, telemedicine is safe, low cost and-permits to treat urgent and routine specialist cases without human proximity and contact which would spread infection, particularly to the elderly and immunocompromised patients. In COVID-19 era, the goal of PCP is to reduce travels and visits in specialized center for liver disease patients. A strict collaboration between specialized hepatologist and PCP is needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Gastroenterology*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Liver Diseases / complications
  • Liver Diseases / therapy*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Primary Health Care*