The Evelina Children’s Hospital treats 6,000 children for heart problems each year and is focused on ensuring they receive the best possible care and access to state of the art equipment and facilities.
With an international reputation for its cardiac speciality, receiving referrals for patients from within the UK and abroad for investigation and management, the clinic perform a quarter of all transplants for children in the UK.
In Cardiology, the echocardiogram is an imperative clinical diagnostic tool, ensuring that children who have been through surgery have an accurate scan to ensure that the operation has been successful. The quality of the scan is critical. Video collaboration solutions from Polycom empowers cardiology consultants to make informed decisions quickly and helps to reduce operation times.
Dr John Simpson, consultant paediatric cardiologist, comments, “One of the challenges we have is we are now performing almost 500 operations per year. And to be physically present for all 500, even amongst a group, is very challenging. We wanted a more efficient means of being able to see the scans being performed in the operating theatre.”
A new way of delivering care
In a visionary move that is transforming how healthcare is being delivered; video collaboration enables the on-service cardiologist consultant to examine diagnostic-quality scans and feeds during complex operations in real-time, without having to be physically present. By integrating a Polycom RealPresence Group 500 with a Philips Ultrasound cart, operators are able to transmit clear diagnostic data and scan images in full High-Definition to one of several review stations within the hospital that utilise the Polycom HDX 4000 Series. The on-service consultant quickly collaborates directly with the surgical team while reviewing the scan data as clearly as if they were in the operating room.
Dr Simpson explains, “In our current way of working there is one consultant who’s on-service for our inpatients. [At any given time] they could be in the intensive care unit, making a ward round, or talking to parents. And if they were called to theatre they would have to scrub, get changed and go to theatre to be able to directly review the images. That would take around about 90 minutes.” The current system has cut that time down to four or five minutes.
The system ensures that patients and their parents have quicker operations, diagnosis by the most senior doctors, and less time under anaesthetic – which is known to improve recovery. For the clinicians, their time is more efficiently used. For the hospital management, about 1,300 hours of consultants’ and surgeons’ time is saved per year – with even more efficiencies in nursing services and support. The impact of the system is also seen in the significant savings associated with staffing costs due to not having to employ more consultant level staff. As the existing consultants can cut down the amount of time it takes to prepare to enter an operating theatre, they can use the time saving by seeing more sick children and their parents.