Secondary Care

Poole Hospital’s ‘virtual’ fracture clinic reduces appointments by 40%

Poole Hospital has gone live with a new virtual fracture clinic using technology from Bluespier.

Previously all patients seen at the Trust’s Emergency Departments (ED) with a suspected fracture would have been referred to the hospital fracture clinic.

Now, patients in ED have their injury immobilised in a splint or boot and those who require orthopaedic review are booked onto a Virtual Fracture Clinic rather than automatically attending a traditional one.

The scheme provides an alternative to conventional fracture clinics, often a face-to-face appointment is not needed as injuries heal without intervention. X-rays and patient notes are easily reviewed ‘virtually’ by an orthopaedic consultant and specialist physiotherapists who decide the best course of ongoing treatment, which could be a specialist fracture clinic appointment with a surgeon , referral to physiotherapy, discharge to GP or even arrange an urgent admission in serious cases.

During the first month of the new arrangements the hospital has reduced new outpatients appointments for fracture patients by 40 per cent.

Miss Nikki Kelsall, consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon, said: “We designed this service around our patients to ensure they were only attending hospital when absolutely necessary and when they do come they are seeing the right person the first time. We hope this new service will help us assess patients much sooner than was previously possible, as well as reduce the number of missed fracture appointments. “

Stuart van Rooyen, Managing Director of Bluespier, said: “Virtual clinics are a shining example of how simple use of technology can make real-life changes to patient care almost immediately. We are delighted with the success of this project at Poole and grateful for the clinical and IT teams for driving it with such vision and diligence.”

Mark Mould, deputy chief executive, added: “The project has led to a more simplified process for both our patients and staff and will provide significant benefits for our patients for years to come.”