Posted: April 8 2020
Earlier this week our first ever patient video consultation took place. Anita Hyde-Smith (pictured right), a Physiotherapist within the Neuro/Early Supported Discharge (ESD) team, had a patient review appointment via video call to see how the patient was progressing. Although the video consultation was a much different format to what they were both used to, Anita and the patient had a good consultation and certain clinical areas were identified for review. The patient seemed to enjoy the video consultation process as well, despite a few pixelating issues!
Given the new way of working required within the NHS, video consultations will serve an important purpose of drastically reducing the amount of face-to-face contact required, allowing for social distancing to be achieved in areas of healthcare delivery. HCT is at the forefront and leading this innovation within the East of England region. Attend Anywhere allows clinicians and patients to meet virtually for appointments. Carers can also be included, and can be included even if not in the same place as the patient. MDTs can also be held in this way. As Anita expressed, ‘Being able to view your patient made it a more personable experience’. Neuro/ESD is the first service to have video consultations rolled out.
Our Minor Injuries Unit at Herts and Essex Hospital was another service quick to realise the potential of using Anytime Anywhere.
Andrew Bradley, an Emergency Nurse Practitioner who works at the unit had his first video consultation with a patient this week. The patient had sustained a wrist injury after falling off his bike and required more specialised advice than 111 but wanted to avoid having to attend the hospital due to the current risk of Covid-19. Andrew was able to have a productive video consultation where he assessed the patient’s injury and advised about treatment. The patient did not need to come directly into hospital for treatment but did drive up for a splint, which was passed to him through his car window.
Andrew Bradley using Attend Anywhere
Both Andrew and the patient thought the Attend Anywhere videoconferencing system was easy to use. Although the video would pixelate if there was a lot of movement, it still allowed Andrew to see the injury without requiring a face-to-face consultation. Andrew is pleased that video consultations are one way of stopping unnecessary attendances to the hospital and providing a safer method for consultations for both clinicians and patients. As Andrew explained, “Videoconferencing is new territory for us and we are still finding our feet. However, we are able to reach out into the community and provide a service that is safe and reassuring for the patients.”
The patient also provided positive feedback on his virtual consultation with HCT, “The video consultation was very straightforward to use and simple to understand. The video and audio aspect worked perfectly even on a mobile phone. I described that I had taken a fall off my bike and thought I may have damaged my wrist. The nurse was very helpful in his response and advised me to check some pressure points. Within 10 minutes, the nurse organised to have a splint left in the reception for me. With the rising threat of coronavirus, I think this system is a great idea to have access to the support people need from the comfort of their own homes and prevent unnecessary journeys.”
More services will be introducing this technology in the coming weeks.
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