Cardiology is a unique medical specialty that involves the prevention, diagnosis, analysis and treatment of heart related illnesses and disorders.
When a potential cardiovascular condition is detected by a GP or primary clinician, a patient will be referred to a cardiologist, who evaluates symptoms and medical history, diagnoses conditions and provides the relevant treatment, or refers the patient to a cardiovascular surgeon if required. Cardiologists may be focused on general cardiology, or become specialised within a subset of cardiology such as electrophysiology, paediatric cardiology, interventional procedures, imaging or syncope.
A cardiologist relies on a wide range of diagnosis procedures and tools to see inside the heart and understand the issue at hand, so that treatment can be given successfully. Procedures such as Electrocardiograms (ECG), angiography, MRI scans, Echocardiograms and Radionuclide tests can all provide vital information to assist with diagnosis and are also used during surgery to ensure a smooth and successful operation.
To ensure the highest possible health outcomes for patients with heart related illnesses, whilst meeting today’s challenges across the NHS, hospitals such as the Evelina Children’s hospital, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, have utilised modern video communication technology by feeding the digital output of diagnostic devices into a compatible video collaboration system within the hospital’s operating theatre.
This has led to increased benefits for patients, cardiologists and hospitals, by allowing the cardiologist to be called upon in real-time without having to by physically present – they can be in the right place, at the right time, without major interruption to their workflow. The cardiologist is able to view the images and communicate with the theatre teams almost immediately, reducing time in the operating theatre and less time under anaesthetic.
The Evelina Children’s Hospital performs almost 500 cardiac operations per year, presenting a major challenge for cardiologists to be physically present for every operation taking place. Previously, when a senior cardiologist was required to review the intraoperative scan images, it could take up to 90 minutes for the consultant to scrub up, change into theatre clothing and view the images, effecting other clinical commitments across the hospital, and increasing the time a patient is within the theatre.
By integrating a Polycom HD Video Conferencing system with a Philips Echocardiogram Ultrasound diagnostics device, the hospital has successfully cut the time required down to 5 minutes, with the consultant able to collaborate instantly with the surgical team to review the intraoperative images as clearly as if they were inside the operating theatre. The clinicians time is more efficiently used, staffing costs have been significantly reduced, and more care time is now available for sick children on the ward.
Talk to us about how we can assist your department in improving patient care, whilst ensuring all expenditure recognises a swift return on investment and continues year on year to make major savings across your workforce.
- See the Evelina Children’s Hospital Customer Story here
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