South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust transforms patient care and professional development with Lifesize video technology
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, based in Ulster hospital Northern Ireland, provides acute hospital services and community health and social services for five local districts. It covers a large geographical area, spreading across areas of relative wealth and prosperity as well those experiencing considerable deprivation and need. Its services extend to accommodate approximately 340,000 residents and another 100,000 people from outside the Trust area. The Trust employs in the region of 10,000 staff across a range of disciplines from admin and clerical roles to professional and technical.
A strategic government review, ‘Transforming Your Care’, made it clear to the Trust that it needed to think more strategically in its approach towards the improvement of current processes, to innovate and implement a higher standard of patient care and professional development capabilities.
Due to the remoteness of the population and large geographical area, a solution was needed to connect healthcare professionals regardless of their location. This would mean connecting doctors with specialists outside of the Trust, conducting and trialling virtual clinics, reaching patients unable to visit the hospital, improving training and education of staff and trainees, and creating an environment where innovation could thrive.
Having previously worked with reseller Questmark on video based projects which were very successful and through research which showed video use fitted into seven of the 12 themes of ‘Transforming Your Care,’ the Trust decided to roll out a standardised video conferencing model and provide a single interface.
“We tested out a number of products with video capabilities and realised that Lifesize offered the best quality and most cost effective service,” said Darren Henderson, ICT Services Manager at South Eastern HSC Trust.
“We’ve now successfully rolled out video using a range of Lifesize systems throughout the Trust and in the Quality Improvement and Innovation Centre (QIIC).”
In April 2014, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust extended its dedication to ‘Transforming Your Care’ by opening the Quality Improvement and Innovation Centre, a central hub to support and develop staff whilst encouraging shared expertise and innovation of services.
The QIIC is divided to facilitate two initiatives, professional development and innovation. Within the centre there are three syndicate rooms and a large hub area, with various breakout areas, which include video PODs and portable display units with touch screen capability. There is also a 75-seat lecture theatre and an area dedicated to education, which consists of a training room, simulation room and control room.
All of these facilities contain video conferencing technology that includes Lifesize Express 220’s which are used in the training and meeting rooms, and a Lifesize 220i integrator (room system), which is used in the main auditorium. Lifesize VideoCentre is also used in the education centre to film and record practical training sessions.
Staff and trainees, as well as multi professional teams across the Trust can now visit the QIIC to make use of the numerous resources it offers, such as meeting and training rooms, practical support and guidance from educational staff and facilities for collaboration with colleagues and specialists who would not otherwise be accessible. It also enables practical learning facilities for real-time skills analysis.
The Questmark team has provided training to staff and students to ensure that those using the QIIC have full confidence in using the equipment. This means that they’re able to make full use of the centre and all it’s various offerings to increase the impact on training and patient care.
Through the use of video staff can host meetings with remote parties, such as patients, specialists and Trust staff, watch and record practical training sessions, stream presentations hosted in the hub and syndicate rooms and host virtual clinics. The connected experience offered by video technology capabilities also means that for the first time patients get access to healthcare experts regardless of their location.
Training and professional development capabilities have also been vastly improved through video technology as trainees have access to a High Fidelity Simulation Suite. Within this suite medical students can practice high-risk scenarios using two dummies, Adult Sim Man and BabySim, which simulate conditions that students must attempt to treat. This is done in a room with a one-way glass window that the students cannot see out of, but tutors can see into. By using video technology students can film, record and then play back to review their performance in real-time. This opportunity is central to the development of trainees as it enables evaluation of practical skills and allows tutors to track individual improvements and challenges.
The partnership with Questmark Ltd and Lifesize has enabled the Trust to be a leader in the use of this technology in delivering a better standard of patient care.
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