At a Glance
- Time to review scans reduced from 90 minutes to five minutes
- Quicker operations and less time under anesthetic for patients
- 1,300 hours of consultants’ and surgeons’ time saved per year
Evelina London Children’s Hospital uses Telemedicine at the Heart of Children’s Cardiology
Every day, around 300 sick children pass through the doors of Evelina London Children's Hospital, one of the leading hospitals for children's heart surgery in the United Kingdom. The hospital treats 100,000 children every year, including 6,000 for heart problems, and is focused on ensuring they receive the best possible care and access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. The clinic has earned an international reputation for cardiology, receiving patient referrals from around the world.
In cardiology, the echocardiogram is an imperative clinical diagnostic tool and its use is critical to ensure children who go through surgery have a successful operation. The enterprise team at Evelina London worked with Polycom to utilize the video collaboration technology in the hospital's operating theatres. The cardiology consultants can now share high quality images and collaborate in real-time to make informed decisions more quickly and help to reduce operation times.
A new way of delivering care
Video collaboration enables the on-service cardiologist consultant to examine diagnostic-quality scans 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. 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 practice to date, if a senior cardiologist is required for real-time review of intraoperative scan images then the on-service consultant needs to scrub, change into theatre clothing and view the scan images in the operating theatre. This takes around 90 minutes and may compete with other clinical commitments on the ward, intensive care unit or talking to parents."
The new system allows the cardiologist to view the intraoperative images and communicate with the team in theatre and cuts the time required down to around 5 minutes. The system ensures patients have quicker operations, diagnosis by the most senior doctors, and less time under anaesthetic – which is known to improve recovery. Clinicians' time is more efficiently used. Hospital management saves about 1,300 hours of consultants’ and surgeons’ time each year – with even more efficiencies gained in nursing services and support. Staffing costs have been significantly reduced and now consultants can cut down the amount of time it takes to prepare to enter an operating theatre. The time they save can be used to help more sick children and their parents.