Working in partnership with Hospital Services Limited (HSL), Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s orthopaedic team has rolled out an innovative digital solution to enable better collaboration among multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs).
Covering multiple hospital sites, the solution will increase the spectrum of input from healthcare professionals on cases coming through the hospital’s orthopaedics department.
And it is aiding a reduction in travel and increasing collaboration among regional MDTs.
Implemented as a direct response to remote working required during the COVID-19 pandemic, the system has been successfully embraced by the hip MDT, knee MDT and upper limb MDT, accommodating meetings of approximately 6-15 team members as well as seminars of up to 50 people. And recently a large meeting with regional hospitals accommodated 104 participants.
This flexibility in format and size makes the solution an optimal platform for not only MDT meetings, but also trainings and general meetings, facilitating remote working as social distancing and work from home remain important tools for combating the ongoing pandemic.
The Pexip Infinity-powered system which integrates with Microsoft Teams and Cisco equipment offers a highly-simplified and easy-to-use system for busy healthcare professionals based across numerous sites and allows attendees to join a meeting through Microsoft Teams or from a boardroom or meeting scenario using a Cisco system.
Users can view all clinical data shared within a meeting room, working alongside the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) to include all information in one ecosystem.
A three-screen setup also enables participants to take control of the screen and ‘drive’ the display, offering equal and secure access to the EPR, imaging, and test results for all participants within the meeting, regardless of their location, and making this an ideal platform to host virtual orthopaedic seminars.
Highlighting how increased collaboration through the virtual system is helping to improve the level of patient care, a recent case was presented at Bath Hospital involving a young man who had been previously advised that he needed a new knee.
Working in consultation with the MDT, the orthopaedic team at Bath took advantage of the vast pool of knowledge available from consultants in Basingstoke, the regional centre of excellence for osteotomy, which runs masterclasses which are beneficial for improving knowledge within the region to benefit patients, resulting in a definitive answer for the patient.
Reflecting on the success of this collaborative project, Joanne Rix, head of telehealth and communications for HSL, said: “The brief for this project was to provide a video conferencing system for MDT meetings with three screens, a good-quality camera, and audio pick-up to allow for collaboration across the region.
“HSL’s team worked closely with the consultation and IT teams at the trust to explore the best solution to meet all the needs and futureproof the communication function within the trust.
“And e are delighted by the outcome – an easy-to-use and adaptable telehealth solution devised to encourage collaboration, sustainability and help improve the quality of patient care through additional expert input on cases.”
Craig Effer, service delivery manager at the trust, added: “Facing current challenges around face-to-face meetings and helping to reduce the amount of time, and indeed the carbon footprint, of travelling between sites for meetings, our IT team was enthusiastic about finding a video solution which would not only help to fill the gap of in-person meetings, but also improve collaboration in a way that would willingly be sustained by healthcare practitioners post-pandemic.
“Working with HSL on the set-up and ongoing support around the MDT virtual rooms solution has been an incredibly-positive experience which has delivered significantly in terms of time savings, improved collaboration, and ease of use.
“The system is incredibly straightforward to use and we hope to implement this for MDTs in other departments in the near future.”