Online training provides essential guidance on telemedicine


Free course highlights ways to use telemedicine to support improvements in clinical safety and quality

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and Western Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, as part of a Better Training Better Care pilot sponsored by Health Education England, have joined forces with Virtual College to develop the free online training course, An Introduction to Telemedicine.

The course aims to raise awareness of the opportunities for delivering healthcare differently and more efficiently, demonstrating some of the possible uses of telemedicine in different clinical and educational settings, enhancing education and learning for healthcare professionals.

The free online course is aimed at all clinicians working across primary or secondary care settings along with their management teams. It highlights some new ways of working using telemedicine to support improvements in clinical safety and quality. It also looks at how improved efficiency, productivity, training and supervision can go hand in hand with improved patient care.

The course includes a section on how to conduct effective telemedicine consultations, which is equally appropriate to non-direct patient care applications. In addition to looking at the common telemedicine functionality, factors such as clinical and information governance, pathway redesign and the uses of telemedicine in educational and training scenarios are considered, promoting the practical uses of telemedicine as a clinical training and supervision tool.

Airedale Hospital has been using telemedicine for direct patient care services since 2006. Telemedicine enables direct video communications between healthcare professionals, patients and their carers. The trust conducts consultations with patients from the comfort of their own home, nursing home or GP surgery via secure video link technology offering a 24-hour service seven days a week.

Rachel Binks, nurse consultant for outreach and critical care at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said that high-definition cameras and screens provide a very clear view of the patient.

“We can see whether they are having a problem, for example, with their breathing. For many elderly people, unplanned admissions to emergency departments or even routine hospital appointments can be hugely disruptive. Our patients, their relatives and the nursing home staff say they would prefer to receive more specialist care without having to leave their home – we have changed the way we work to meet their needs.”

This interactive course provides an informative and easy-to-follow introduction to telemedicine including several video case study-style interviews with a range of different service users across care settings.

The course has been independently certified as conforming to universally-accepted CPD guidelines and, as a result of the Better Training Better Care project, is offered free of charge to those working within NHS organisations, GPs and nursing and care homes in England.

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Click here to register for the course.