An end to clinician’s six-hour,
single patient journeys
The Trust has seen did not attend (DNA) rates drop from around 25% to just 10% in its Stroke Review Service alone since the introduction of the virtual service.
As well as the predicted cost and logistical benefits, the Trust has additional, less expected insights into patient care. Sometimes the psychological effect of coming into hospital pushes blood pressure artificially high and the Trust’s medical team is far more likely to get a real representation of a patient’s physiology when they are in their own home.
After a stroke, patient will have had their driver’s license taken away, so they become reliant on public transport or family and friends to bring them into hospital for speech therapy or review appointments. Often patients will need to make a five hour return journey from home to the hospital. Connecting a patient via a video consultation is an invaluable way of reducing their travel time, putting less strain on their recovery and helps their clinicians to assess how they are coping in their home environment rather than after a strenuous and tiring journey into the hospital.
As opposed to a telephone call, a virtual consultation also enables clinicians to easily demonstrate new exercises to their patients and see patients in their home environments, invaluable to the overall assessment of a stroke patient’s condition.
Also, the positive psychological benefits of a patient seeing their home environment via video when a physiotherapist visits their home to check it is ready for their return, really encourages them in their path to recovery.
For specialist cancer nurses of the Trust’s Drains Service, travelling time has been greatly reduced. Previously, staff could travel up to six hours a day to review one patient’s drains and wounds.
Dietitians looking after patients with oesophagus and stomach cancer are able to have meaningful discussions with their patients at home and via video are able to look through their kitchen cupboards with them.
The Trust has recorded that 100% of its patients who’ve had virtual appointments have said this method is their preferred choice. Video consultations have helped to determine that 70-80 percent of the time, a hospital visit isn’t required.