Published: Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Rural patients tune in to telehealth clinics at National Hospital
Rural patients are benefitting from the introduction of 'telehealth' – medical video conferencing – at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.
Scotland's national hospital has successfully piloted the system to remotely pre-assess and follow-up on hip and knee replacement patients from Orkney who would previously have had to travel to Clydebank for these outpatient appointments.
Patients still receive the same continuity of care from our clinical team but in a more convenient setting without the need for unnecessary travelling or overnight stays.
Telehealth uses video conferencing to remotely connect the Golden Jubilee's specialist orthopaedic team with the patient and clinical team at their local hospital. Using the technology, the Golden Jubilee's Arthroplasty team can carry out the routine patient follow-ups via high definition video link, review the x-rays and discuss with the patients when further follow-ups are required. If there is any concern, the patient is advised to come to the Golden Jubilee.
Martin Sarungi, Operational and Strategic Lead for Orthopaedics at the Golden Jubilee, commented: "Technology is always evolving and we are too. We have introduced this new technology, with the support of our Senior Management Team and with the help of referring NHS Board, to make the hospital experience easier for those patients who live in rural communities."
Tracey Reynolds, Arthroplasty Practitioner at the Golden Jubilee, added: "Our Orkney clinics are proving popular, and the feedback has been positive from the patients as well as both clinical teams. We expect to run more and more clinics in this way over the next few years as our orthopaedic programme continues to expand."
Following the successful pilot, the hospital is looking at how the system can be rolled out to other specialties and for other rural and distant patients.
Jill Young, Chief Executive of the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, added: "As a national resource for Scotland, we pride ourselves on providing innovative ways to provide our patients with a safe, high quality service that takes account of their individual circumstances.
"We have patients travelling from varying distances to be treated at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, so introducing telehealth clinics means that patients who live in more remote areas will avoid unnecessary travel, overnight stays and inconvenience just to attend an outpatient appointment.
"We are delighted that our Orkney patients are getting the benefit of this new service and look forward to offering it to those in other rural communities in the future."