Telehealth - healthcare delivered remotely has been offered for decades. COVID-19 changes the way we interact in all aspects of life, many patients are swiftly embracing virtual healthcare. Research published in July 2020 by GSK, the pharmaceutical conglomerate, found that 84% of people in Spain, 77% in the UK, 75% in Italy, and 63% in Germany consider it important to take their health into their own hands to relieve pressure on healthcare systems.
With the above in mind, T-Pro offered a free telehealth solution (eClinic Manager) to all HSE & NHS sites/networks to conquer COVID19 challenges.
Since March 2020, Hospitals across the republic of Ireland have deferred elective or non-urgent procedures as well as outpatient appointments due to the surge in Covid-19 case numbers. The Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital uses T-Pro for other solutions, however, when the first lockdown started, we've set up a virtual clinic solution for free to help the hospital to continue their delivery of care to patients.
This reduces staff exposure to ill persons, preserves personal protective equipment (PPE), and minimises the impact of patient surges on the health service. With social distancing efforts and stay-at-home measures in effect for most, Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital needed to utilise a “virtual” care model to limit unneeded in-person interactions. The hospital was founded in 1895 and it's is the National Referral Centre for both Eye and Ear, Nose, and Throat disorders. It's also the 2nd hospital in Dublin to obtain full JCI accreditation. It has over 1,300 visitors per month and 109,800 patients per year.
T-Pro eClinic Manager is a customised telehealth solution that allows the hospital to put on virtual clinics and enable clinicians to treat patients online through their smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. As a result, thousands of appointments that would otherwise have been cancelled were able to go ahead, ensuring that patients are still able to access the care they need.
“T-Pro eClinic Manager is most helpful because I can continue to provide vital care during the pandemic, monitoring patients with stable keratoconus. I can also assess patients and book them in for consultations through video calls. There is a sharing option where I can show my patients the result of their vision tests and their scans which I found very helpful.”
Advanced Nurse Practitioner, RVEEH
The number of virtual visits conducted has steadily increased each month. The uptake in telehealth use during this time frame has been accompanied by a decline of in-person visits, facilitating Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital and the public health mitigation strategies during this pandemic by reducing footfall in the interest of safety. eClinic Manager is proven to be a safer option for staff and patients by reducing potential infectious exposures, and reducing the strain on their health services by minimising the surge of patient demand on facilities and reducing the use of PPE by healthcare providers.
Patients can attend their consultations from the comfort of their own homes with any devices. According to the staff, the system was easy to use and with their recent patient satisfaction survey, 93% of our patients found the new virtual clinic service more efficient than previous outpatient appointments mainly because of the reduced time spent in the hospital. The improvement was phenomenal for hospital and their patients, it was also featured on RTE news.
Outpatient attendances per year