During the current COVID-19 Pandemic video conferencing has enabled clinicians to support patients/service users online. The HSE is now using Attend Anywhere, a web-based video conferencing tool to provide video consultations to patients through virtual clinics known as ‘waiting rooms’. Attend Anywhere, provided by Involve Visual Collaboration, is now becoming an integral part of health service delivery across Ireland, because of the benefits it can provide during and post COVID-19.
It is a simple, safe, easy to use and reliable technology for both patients and clinicians, which has been designed and tested specifically for use in clinical settings. Attend Anywhere is currently being rolled out across the Irish Health Service for use in community and hospital services with 1,700 consultations now being held on a weekly basis.
The deployment of Attend Anywhere by Involve ensures patients can be seen in virtual clinics via video link, a key factor in reducing face to face appointments and in turn the possible spread of COVID-19 in the community. The video appointments are allowing HSE to provide quality care while keeping patients and staff safe.
How Does Attend Anywhere Work?
Appointments are arranged in the usual way with patients receiving a link to their online consultation via email or text. No special accounts, passwords, software, or dial-ins are needed, only an internet enabled device such as a smart phone, tablet, or laptop. Upon clicking the link patients enter their own private online waiting room, where they are met by their clinician for an on-screen appointment.
The clinician and patient can see and speak to each other as well as share and discuss documents like test results, letters, and case notes. Furthermore, family members and carers can be involved with discussions about a person’s care and treatment, as up to five people can take part from different devices. Appointments are strictly confidential, and conversations are not recorded and will not leave a digital footprint.
Services using Attend Anywhere
Donegal Physiotherapy Service are seeing some patients via Attend Anywhere. Speaking about the technology, HSE Senior Physiotherapist at St Joseph’s Community Hospital, Moya Ferguson said, “Attend Anywhere has enabled us to actively engage with our clients face to face via video call. We have found it to be a great adjunct to physiotherapy. We have been able to check client’s range of movement, their gait, provide home exercise programmes and progress their rehabilitation such as getting them off crutches and sticks”.
Users of the service also commented on their positive experience of this approach. One person commented that, “The video call was very good. It gave me reassurance that I was doing the exercises correctly and helped me feel more confident. I wouldn’t have been able to see the physio otherwise at this time”.
Fiona Gilliland, Cavan/Monaghan Physiotherapy Manager says “we have been using Attend Anywhere Technology over the last few months in Cavan Monaghan Physiotherapy Services and are very excited about this development. In future due to social distancing restrictions, vulnerable clients and for those who cannot travel this is a great option for treatment. We can also use a blended approach whereby we can see the patient initially face to face and follow up with an Attend Anywhere call on Attend Anywhere. It is a secure platform and works on a mobile phone or laptop.”
“In the Cavan Monaghan Physiotherapy Department, we are looking at using Attend Anywhere for Group work. Prior to the current restrictions we would have run group sessions for people at risk of falls, people with specific issues like Parkinson’s and for people with low back pain or general low exercise tolerance. Attend Anywhere will enable us to do group work with people at home too! The feedback from patients and families has been really positive. One patient who attended a group session commented “I enjoyed the classes very much and I have great confidence in my Physiotherapist.”
Audiology Services based in Stranorlar and Sligo have adopted Attend Anywhere technology to follow up hearing aid service users and check on how they are getting on with their hearing aids, to troubleshoot any issues and demonstrate simple repair work where possible. Where hearing aids have been posted out to clients, Attend Anywhere has been used to show new patients and their families how to fit and use their new aids. It has also been used to follow up with parents on how their child is using their hearing aids for example learning to listen and develop understanding and speech. Patricia Barr, HSE Community Hearing Services Manager Donegal/Sligo/Leitrim commented “we started to roll out of Attend Anywhere the first week in June and three clinicians mainly to date have fitted 23 adults and reviewed 10 children. The feedback from clinicians to date has been positive.”
In addition to services outlined above, Attend Anywhere is also being used in Mental Health Services across CHO 1 over the past few months. To date, CHO 1 has established 64 virtual waiting rooms and 295 Clinicians have been trained and registered to use Attend Anywhere as part of their service provision.
To find out more about how Involve can help your organisation implement video consultations, please get in touch.