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Nursing Homes Leveraging Video Conferencing

April 11, 2017

Nursing homes in Great Britain are seeking to cut down on the amount of hospital trips they send their patients on by leveraging video conferencing technology. The project was introduced by the Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), a division of England’s National Health Service, and allows patients and nursing home staff to hold video conferences with medical professionals in remote locations when they are concerned about any issue a patient might be having.

The use of this technology is important for a number of reasons. First of all, it saves the nursing homes money, as the cost of transporting patients and all of the equipment they need to and from the hospital can become incredibly steep. It also results in better quality of life for the patient. Trips to the hospital can be incredibly taxing on patients, especially elderly ones. If the use of this video conferencing technology can help patients avoid superfluous trips to the hospital, it will dramatically improve their time in these nursing homes.

“When staff are concerned about a patient in a care home they will often call an ambulance to be on the safe side. But when provided with the right clinical advice at the right time they can be supported to make informed decisions,” said Sally Seeley, director of quality and personalization for the Nottingham City CCG. “In genuine medical emergencies the system helps to provide paramedics and hospital staff with vital information even before the patient is admitted.”

The video conferencing service thus provides two major benefits to both patients and healthcare providers. First of all, it reduces wasted time and money by cutting back on trips to the hospital that are not necessary. Second, in the case of an actual medical emergency, these conferences can provide responding medical personal with a bounty of pertinent medical information before they even set foot on the scene, rather than having to take the time to gather all of that information upon their arrival.

“We are really excited about the healthcare benefits of assistive technology and welcome the national investment that will help us harness new ways of providing even better care for local people,” Seeley added.

The most important aspect to consider when implementing new technology is to see how it can positively impact quality of life. In this case, the video conferencing technology can easily have a positive impact on patients’ lives as they spend their time in the nursing home. Look for video conferencing technology to continue to be implemented in ways such as this in the near future.

Edited by Alicia Young

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