Many clinical decisions can safely be made without ‘hands on’ contact with a patient. This may include advice given to hospital colleagues in an inpatient setting, or to patients, their carers and primary care colleagues in a community care setting.
Clinical decisions are already made routinely without sight of the patient – usually in response to a telephone call. Now, the latest telemedicine tools make video consultations straightforward, enabling clinicians to make a ‘face to face’ patient assessment. This enhances the quality of the discussion, giving both parties the ability to see each other’s expressions and demeanour – all without the need to transfer the patient to hospital.
By enabling these assessments, telemedicine helps hospitals to significantly reduce admissions and emergency department (ED) attendances, easing the burden on over stretched services. Equally, where it is established that admission is appropriate, the process can be streamlined to the benefit of both the patient and the hospital.
When a hospital needs a specialist opinion from a referral centre, telemedicine tools again have the potential to transform the process. Video consultations can be held instead, which may also prevent the need for a patient to travel long distances for assessment.
Not infrequently, clinical staff accompany patients to assessments at specialist referral centres. This obviously impacts the base staffing level and impairs a team’s capacity to deliver timely, high quality patient care. Again, Immedicare’s telemedicine services can transform this situation.
Patients comment that their experiences of telemedicine video consultation services are extremely good – and these feelings are reflected in the way they rate their hospital services. In today’s quality-driven and patient centric regulatory climate, the ability to demonstrate the delivery of a positive patient experience is invaluable.