Specialist distributor of medical supplies and surgical equipment, Hospital Services Limited (HSL) has had its next generation Telehealth solution approved for use with the emergency assessment of patients with suspected stroke in Northern Ireland.
HSL’s Telehealth system is already in place throughout hospitals and GP surgeries in the UK and Ireland and enables clinicians and consultants to carry out virtual, video consultations and diagnosis of patients.
HSL’s journey to establishing its Telehealth solution for stroke care began in June 2019 when HSL CEO Dominic Walsh introduced his idea to several of Northern Ireland’s leading consultants responsible for the diagnosis and care of patients presenting at the region’s A&E Departments with suspected stroke. Following the introduction of Telehealth for stroke care, clinical trials were agreed, and work began to convert a concept into a medical grade working and supportable solution which delivers more immediate care for stroke patients in Northern Ireland.
After receiving positive feedback from leading consultants across the board, the first integrations of the Telehealth solution are now in place and embedded within the infrastructure that runs all of the conferencing and collaboration technology for the Health Service in Northern Ireland. Commenting on this revolution in stroke care, HSL CEO Dominic Walsh said,
“We are extremely pleased that Telehealth for stroke care has been accepted by consultants across Northern Ireland. We believe that our Telehealth platform will transform the diagnosis of this condition as it will enable stroke consultants to support their clinical colleagues as soon as a patient presents at A&E, giving them the facilities they need to undertake a risk-free diagnosis of the extent and nature of the stroke and to provide timely, lifesaving interventions. We are privileged to be in a position to undertake such innovative and beneficial work for the magnificent people in our NHS.”
Commenting on this exciting step in stroke care, consultant stroke physicians Dr Enda Kerr and Dr Michael McCormick said,
“We are impressed by the simplicity and elegance of the solution that was presented to us by HSL. Being able to intervene, support our colleagues and conduct remote consultations with the patient from a tablet or phone has changed how we work and speeds up diagnosis and time critical treatments. Time is of the essence when treating someone who has had a stroke, so literally every minute counts. The Telehealth platform has the potential to make a significant contribution to improved patient outcomes after stroke, especially during late evening and overnight periods”.
Although remote diagnosis of patients presenting at a hospital with possible stroke symptoms has been available for several years, HSL’s Telehealth solution is different as it has the intelligence to enable the remote consultants to intervene from a tablet, smartphone or laptop. Previous virtual healthcare solutions ran on external systems, had no integration and relied on dedicated devices and network services to work. Discussing the Telehealth platform Sam McMaster, Director of Telehealth for HSL said,
“Our Telehealth platform presents to the consultant through a simple to use app that includes the features and facilities they need to undertake the initial diagnosis of the patient. This assures security, a simple and easy to use workflow, and the ability to include the results in the electronic care record for the patient.”
Innovation is one of HSL’s core values and ensuring customer and patient care is the company’s main priority. This technological solution provided by HSL will contribute to a better outcome for many patients affected by the instant repercussions of stroke as it becomes an integral part of the service delivered across all the Health & Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.