Heart of Kent Hospice’s ‘virtual ward’ uses video conferencing technology to provide face-to-face support for patients at home.
Patients who opt-in to the scheme have a laptop computer installed in their home. When the patient requests a video consultation using the simple touchscreen interface, a nurse is notified using the call button system used in the hospice wards. When the call is answered, a clear video call is established and a face-to-face consultation is made possible without the patient ever having to come into the hospice.
“There are so many clinical clues and judgement tied up in the visual image which this system releases,” said Bruce Pollington, the hospice’s medical director, who devised and implemented the system, “…particularly the ability to get a face-to-face contact with experienced nursing staff any time.”
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