While the GP generally sits at his desk with patients obediently arriving by appointment, the hospital doctor or consultant lives in a different world where medical staff do the visiting and even senior consultants have to move from ward to ward and location to location.
Professor Wachter’s recent report concludes that the collapse of NPfIT has caused uneven development in IT across the NHS so there will be a pecking order for the implementation of new centrally funded systems. Some Trusts will not achieve the paperless NHS objective until 2023.
It is, therefore, good to come across an IT capability that any Trust should be able to deploy immediately because it is a simple addition to one of the successful outcomes of NPfIT – the email and backbone network.
It’s not just highly involved IT systems that improve efficiency. Medical staff, after all, use straightforward technology like phones and email.
The Benefits Of Collaboration In Healthcare
Many organisations have been enhancing their email backbone with IT based collaboration technology. This extension provides facilities that enable people to communicate and interact with each other more effectively. It Is also gaining ground in the Healthcare world, which has, of course, insisted on high levels of data security and privacy given the potentially highly sensitive nature of any data being transmitted, stored and shared.
For doctors and consultants time spent travelling is effectively lost time; anything that can eliminate travel has a high value because it potentially allows a clinician to increase coverage in any one day.
Remote diagnosis through discussion with a physician colleague has not always been effective especially where the consultation involves reviewing output from medical scanning devices; MRI output, CT scans, ultrasound, X-Ray etc.
However, a collaboration product meeting industry standards and that is already heavily used in healthcare in the USA has changed all that by supporting DICOM images in a relatively straightforward way; this allows display on laptops and mobile devices and this in many cases facilitates remote diagnosis between clinicians.
This offering like many collaboration offerings is Cloud based. Even though the data can be very well secured there are sometimes concerns about data being held overseas. In this case, the offering currently is based in Canada but with a European centre opening later this year; longer term the plan is to have this distributed into most major countries, and the delivery is through a Cloud supplier that already has a distributed set of centres in many countries around the world.
So, if you are looking for something that is fairly simple – setting this up is straightforward with just some additional items to support the DICOM imaging – easy to learn, and with a relatively low cost of entry; this would be it.
A pilot can be run very easily; as implied above it can run on equipment that is probably already in use at any hospital; it can be set up very quickly with little upfront outlay. In other words, it can prove its worth or not at low outlay; it is therefore a low risk project; and if the clinicians respond positively it should quickly justify itself.
Demonstrating the product is easy to arrange and the attached You Tube clip gives an insight into the viewing capabilities for the medical images.
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