Guy's Cancer Centre invests in ‘Huddle Room’ video solutions


Polycom video solution saves consultants time and improves learning

Guy’s Cancer Centre has selected Polycom video solutions to further enhance the service for patients.

As a result, consultants are able to move through their casework efficiently and therefore meetings are finishing earlier, often saving an hour a week in time and meaning consultants can spend more time with their patients.

Frank Baldesare, IT architect at Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, worked with Polycom to design a new bespoke huddle-style room for its consultant meetings.

As the lead IT architect, he has worked on a variety of IT installations for the hospital network, each culminating in both time and cost savings across the board.

The challenge at this time was to design a space that enabled cancer consultants, among others, to be able to review patients’ cases in a secure-yet-intimate environment.

The new state-of-the-art meeting room enables the consultants to review patient files more effectively and in a secure location.

Previously, a boardroom-style space was favoured for these types of meetings, but what is now in its place is effectively a more-relaxed ‘huddle’-style room.

As you walk in, the first thing you see is the Polycom RealPresence Centro in the middle of the space.

Surrounding this in a U shape are a series of bespoke desks housing power ports, laptops, diagnostic and information systems, histopathology/microscopes, imaging/X-rays, PET & CT and the cancer information system EPR.

Above the RealPresence Centro are four screens hanging from the ceiling and one large monitor on the wall. The screens enable all those in the room to see the case that is being discussed.

With the RealPresence Centro being used as the video endpoint to meet with the staff who are attending from other sites, screens are firmly placed in the middle of the action and no-one is overlooked when it comes to discussions about a patient’s care.

The new meeting room was designed with comfort and efficiency in mind, and as the consultants hold on average 3-4 consulting sessions a week, this was a key factor when selecting the right partner.

Consultants can interact more during these sessions – previously the set-up would be a classroom-style, meaning backs of heads were the best that some could see during these sessions

The sessions are typically attended by between 30-70 consultants across a variety of locations from the UK, and during those consultation sessions an average of 20 patient cases are reviewed, so sessions are often long and detailed. The new system enables consultants to attend remotely and share confidential data securely.

“Controlled by a bespoke touch screen, consultants can come in and set up their meeting at the touch of a button, meaning meetings start on time,” said Baldesare.

“One added benefit to the system is consultants can interact more during these sessions – previously the set-up would be a classroom-style, meaning backs of heads were the best that some could see during these sessions. Now, with the huddle format, everyone is engaged in the room and those on the far end can see who is commenting as the facial recognition software zooms in on the end that is talking.”

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In addition to shortening the amount of time spent in the consulting sessions, utilising video collaboration technology also enables the hospital network to reduce its travel costs enabling medical professionals to collaborate quickly effectively and the set-up enables them to converse like they are in the same room.