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Trust rolls out visual technology for all community health services

Trust rolls out visual technology for all community health services
Trust rolls out visual technology for all community health services

Community Nurses at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will be part of a ‘visual technology program’ as community health services are included in the technology’s rollout.

A full rollout of tech solution ‘Isla’ will support the secure capture and storage of both patient and clinician submitted photos and videos across the county.

Isla, a tool created by Islacare Ltd, allows patients or clinicians to upload photo or video evidence directly from their personal device to secure cloud server, ensuring that confidential data is not stored any any personal device.

Clinicians can then review the images at a later point, cutting down on the need for face-to-face meetings.

After a pilot and rollout to support wound care and podiatric care, the technology is being expanded to the whole of the trust’s community health services.

For relevant conditions, the use of a photo or video has allowed the triage teams to de-escalate 75% of their demand from same day to planned intervention and reduce 15% of their clinical contacts.

Angie Bell, district nurse at the Larwood District Nursing Team, said: ‘Isla has reduced the number of same day visits the team has to attend. By having a clear visual insight of the patient’s condition at the point of referral, an informed assessment is made based on individual need. The use of Isla also supports the Trust’s self-care agenda, and it empowers patients, relatives and carers to lead their own healthcare.

‘Findings from the podiatric surgery and community podiatry teams highlight a cumulative potential saving of over 395 clinical hours per year by shifting 8-week and 6-month reviews for appropriate patients to remote interactions using Isla. This will allow clinicians to address clinical backlogs exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.’

The spokesperson for the trust suggests that the within community nursing, Isla will ‘enhance the community nursing triage process’ in areas like wound care, allow some patients to ‘become more independent with regards to managing their own woundcare and dressing changes,’ and to support patients in residential care settings.

The spokesperson added that ‘We foresee that the continued rollout of this technology will support our triage function in terms of ensuring that we are deploying our community nursing resources to best effect whether that be on a face to face basis, virtually or over the telephone. This in turn will enable us to remove any inefficiencies from our everyday working practices, releasing more time to care for our patients.’

In 2020, Sharon White, chief executive of the School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA), explained how school nurses used technology to great effect during lockdown.