Secondary Care

Calderdale and Huddersfield innovate with tech

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS FT has embraced digital to transform ways of working and ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voice recognition is being used in high risk areas using Nuance Powermic to ensure staff can quickly enter and view notes in Cerner, without taking off their protective gear.

The trust is utilising Microsoft Teams for video consultations, having previously used the platform prior to the recent announcement of the tool being made free for three months.

The trusts entire back office, including its IT helpdesk are using Teams for virtual meetings and the tool is being used for Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings, trauma meetings and patient-relative visits. The trust is also hosting live events through Teams for hospital staff three times a week to participate in fitness classes.

Graham Walsh, Chief Clinical Information Officer, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust said to HTN “This is just another example that demonstrates the versatility of Microsoft teams in the healthcare environment. Its delivered real benefits to both our staff and patients in these testing times. The battle against COVID-19 has drawn us all closer together and has demonstrated how digital technology has its place firmly in our healthcare future.”

The trust has also introduced a new technology device to support patients with COVID-19 to have virtual visits, following a successful trial last week.

Tackling the problem of clean devices for COVID patients, the Zebra TC-51 is being used with Microsoft Teams. Using the booking functionality in the app, nurses book virtual appointments for patients to have virtual visits with relatives, making a significant difference for both.

Carol Gregson, Chief Information Nurse said “Called the ‘Virtual In Hospital Visiting Service’ it is for our most vulnerable patients who are denied the opportunity to have direct contact with their families as a result of Coronavirus. This feels so important given the current situation around visiting and the complexity of our poorly patients.”

“I want to particularly thanks THIS’s Richard Hill, Transformation and Partnership’s Claire Sibbald and the Oncology Team. They have been involved in the setting up of this service at short notice. They have been absolutely brilliant! I am so proud to be working with them in what feels like a special and right thing to do. We’ve jumped through hoops in the hope we can provide an extra bit of TLC in the most stressful of times for patients and their loved ones.”