Northern Sydney Local Health District
Northern Sydney Local Health District uses Pexip to support intensive care, aged care, parent groups and outpatient services during COVID-19
Northern Sydney Local Health District uses Pexip video to support critical care
Royal North Shore Hospital is the major specialist hospital in the LHD and cares for critically ill patients form across the State. The Intensive Care Unit team worked to identify how to connect critically ill patients with families when COVID-19 restrictions kicked in. One solution they implemented was enabling Pexip video on bedside computers and installed webcams at each bedside so patients can call their loved ones and receive video calls when they want to and without the need for scheduling.
Trained nursing and social work staff in the use of videoconferencing software are also on hand to ensure patients, including those with COVID-19 remain connected to the outside world.
“The clinicians have found the video calls really easy to use,” said Emily Gregg, telehealth project officer for Northern Sydney LHD. “With one click, they can connect their un-well patients with families, friends and where necessary, other consultants within the health service.”
The service has been available since April 2020 and the feedback from patients and staff has been positive.
Supporting Residential Aged Care through video communications
The LHD worked with staff within these residential facilities to set up a system where appointments over Pexip video can be arranged with clinicians, doctors or consultants when a resident is acutely un-well. This allows clinicians to decide on the best course of medical response quickly and without the added stress of moving the patient to see a doctor or visit a hospital.
“This can be a very efficient way to connect clinicians with an elderly patient who is feeling unwell,” Gregg says. “We can keep our residents in a calm, familiar environment while getting them prompt clinical attention. At the same time, the video consultation provides the medical specialist with visual feedback and information, enabling them to quickly make decisions and provide a responsive care plan.”
Parents Groups Connect over video
Parents groups are meeting across the Northern Sydney Local Health District but many of groups also connect over Pexip video regularly. A lot of parents see a benefit in not having to leave the house with a newborn! They can use video calls to connect with others when they want, without the need to schedule. At the same time, they avoid the preparations required in going out for a physical meet-up.
Early childhood services such as occupational therapy and speech pathology are also delivered via Pexip video consultations.
“Using video calls, we can continue to ensure that children are attended to in the safety and security of their own home while receiving services that are critical to their development,” Gregg explains
“We survey patients regularly and from our sample of 2000 respondents to date, the #1 benefit we hear from their feedback is the fact that they’ve found accessing their healthcare using video to be convenient for them.”Emily Gregg, Telehealth Project Officer
Outpatient services over video offer safer environments for some and are more convenient for others
One key area where Northern Sydney Local Health District has seen positive outcomes using Pexip video communications has been when delivering outpatient services. Previously, there were examples of rural and regional patients needing to travel long distances to attend clinical appointments. Video consultations delivered via Pexip, now mean that those who need to see a particular specialist can do so, without needing to travel.
“There are patients who in the past needed to attend pre-admission clinics prior to having surgery. They may have required several consultations with the multi-disciplinary team responsible for their operation and post-care,” Gregg explains. “This would have required not only time for the patient to travel to their treatment clinic but also an additional expense including hotel stays, time off work and airfares or transport.”
“Using video, we have examples of times where patients have saved six hours on travel. As well as saving time and expense, they have access to their healthcare provider from the comfort of their home via our easy to use video platform. This can often mean a less stressful experience for those about to undergo an intensive surgical process.”
For patients who are worried because they are immuno-comprised, video consultations using Pexip mean that they don’t have to be concerned about infection or illness which they might otherwise be exposed to outside their home.
“We’ve seen very good uptake of video consultations by endocrinology patients or those who have had renal transplants and need ongoing care” Gregg says. “Before all types of medical intervention, it’s important that patients are as healthy as can be. For patients who are worried about Covid or the possibility of general infection, having a video consult from a familiar place without travelling or visiting new environments, can provide peace of mind.”
While Covid-19 may have facilitated an escalation of telehealth services, Gregg suspects that video consultations are here to stay.
“We survey patients regularly and from our sample of 2000 respondents to date, the #1 benefit we hear from their feedback is the fact that they’ve found accessing their healthcare using video to be convenient for them.”
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