On 24 March, the European Commission launched the “COVID-19 Clinical Management Support System” with the aim to support clinicians in hospitals that are currently facing the coronavirus emergency all over Europe.
Based on the experience with the European Reference Networks, the initiative will help to create rapid connections across Europe among the hospitals indicated by the Member States as reference centres for COVID-19. Clinicians can rely on a dedicated helpdesk managed by DG SANTE to set up web conferences and exchange with their peers in Europe on possible treatments, and on how to handle severe and complex cases.
This synergy aims to speed up the adoption of specific treatment options and help reduce some of the uncertainties due to the unknown aspects of the virus. Ultimately, it is in the vital interest of the patients infected with COVID-19 that their doctors can discuss their cases, and get the best advice possible.
The evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting countries with different levels of severity at varying times. Many patients are in need of highly specialised care. The practical experience on how to manage patients, in particular severe cases, is scarce and scattered in Europe. While the experience and the number of cases treated by some hospitals is important, others are only starting to deal with complex patients. The concrete techniques and treatments applied to the COVID-19 patients are in many cases experimental and there are some limitations to access the newly acquired knowledge from these past weeks and months.