Modernising patient care post COVID

Patients have been given the option to see their clinicians by video consultation as the result of collaboration from two leading health technology companies. Hospital Services Limited and Savience, both exceptional in their own fields, have come together to deliver a best-in-breed video collaboration platform.

Giving patients the option to stay at home has provided a significant boost in the drive to help prevent the spread of COVID, and as a longer-term strategic solution is now delivering a practical alternative for people with mobility issues or those living in remote areas.

The innovative solution, available to hospitals and healthcare providers across the UK through the procurement route of the Patient and Healthcare Communications and Related IT Services Framework, will give clinicians and patients the option of high-quality, integrated, face-to-face video consultations without the need for expensive equipment and technology investments. Patients can access the platform via their mobile phones or tablets.

The lots secured are:

Lot 4 Patient Check-In Management System – an advanced and modular patient flow solution designed to support the challenges and demands faced by busy outpatient and ED departments as they strive to handle post COVID patient workloads. Modules include mobile check-in, online appointment booking, self-check-in kiosks, patient calling, and patient reminders.

Lot 5 App Development Services – provision to develop intuitive, patient-centric mobile applications compatible with mobile phone platforms such as iOS, Android, Kindle etc designed to foster improved patient engagement and ultimately better patient health outcomes.

Lot 7 Video Conferencing System – state-of the art, integrated video conferencing solutions for inpatients, outpatients, emergency and urgent care, administrative and other clinical services, compatible with existing communication platforms.

Proven track records

The partnership between Savience and HSL emerged from the pair working on several joint projects across Northern Ireland. Both companies have a major presence across the UK’s healthcare landscape.
Integrated with the trusts’ patient administration systems, Savience’s Clarity manages the entire patient appointment process and patient flows, while HSL delivers the video conferencing and collaboration platform.

How virtual consultations work

Once an appointment is marked as a video consultation, Clarity creates a call in the video system and an invitation SMS message is automatically sent to the patient. Clarity monitors the status of all calls being managed through the video software and updates the patient’s status accordingly.

Existing processes and working practices can remain largely unchanged. The Clarity dashboard is used by clinicians for their routine clinics, and they work through their lists by clicking on the call button as normal. But, if a patient is due for a virtual consultation, rather than calling a patient from the waiting room, clicking the video icon opens the software and initiates a virtual consult.
Patients that ‘arrive’ early, by opening the invitation on their phone, are put into a virtual waiting room until the clinician is ready to start the consultation.

Other benefits

As well as being far more cost-effective than cloud-based alternatives, the solution is secure, can fully integrate with existing systems and workflows, and is scalable across entire healthcare economies, whether that is acute, community or other.

The service has now been running in the Gestational Diabetes department in the Western Health and Social Care Trust for over a year. Commenting on the success of the solution in answering patients’ needs, Dr Athinyaa Thiraviaraj said,

“Working in partnership with women who attend our service, we have been able to develop, test, and standardise video-consultations. This has helped our service to continue with minimal interruptions through both the first and second surge of the pandemic. This innovative model of care has made it possible for us to continue our commitment to support expectant mothers at a time of anxiety and concern.”

Commenting on the special role that video calls have made in maintaining a high level of patient care Dr Thiraviaraj added,

“I can’t see our service defaulting to phone clinics. It’s just not the same when you are engaging in complex conversations like a health care consultation.”

To buy from this framework visit NHS Commercial Solutions