Since 2018, UMCG (University Medical Centre Groningen) and TSN Home Care have been working on the ‘Warm handover using video calls’ project, used when patients are discharged from the hospital to home care. The Enovation Zaurus digital consulting rooms are now being used for these patient handovers.
Maarten de Jong of the Surgical Oncology Department at UMCG explains the advantage of video calling in handovers such as these: “As the only teaching hospital in the north of The Netherlands, UMCG has a large care network supporting a large region. For example, if patients need to be transferred to home care, it takes a great deal of time for home care workers to carry out a ‘live’ handover. And for patients with more complex pathologies, a written handover is sometimes not appropriate. In that case, video calling is a more effective option”.
Effective connection between care providers and the patient
When a patient handover is organised digitally using video calls, it becomes much simpler to arrange a meeting so that all key stakeholders are involved in the process: UMCG’s ward nurse, TSN’s district nurse and, of course, the patient.
Project manager Liesbeth van Rijkom at TSN says that this helps to avoid a lack of clarity further down the line. People react positively on the new way of working: “I hear from the district nurses that they appreciate the opportunity to ask the ward nurse questions at UMCG. For the patient, too, it’s good to hear what they can expect in their situation at home. It rules out many uncertainties”.
“Just do it!”
When communicating digitally on patient-sensitive information, safety, confidentiality and accessibility naturally take priority. Both UMCG and TSN have been working with the Enovation Zaurus solutions for some time – both for video calling and additional solutions such as the digital desk and remote clinical assistance and supervision by using smart glasses.
The step towards applying Enovation Zaurus to this project was a logical one, with positive results: “The UMCG nurses initiate the meetings. For this reason, it is important that the programme is easily accessible for both district nurses, patients and any informal carers”, says Maarten. “Zaurus is user friendly, so to any colleagues who would also like to use video calling in patient care, my recommendation to you would be: just do it!”
Now that the initial digital patient handovers have been performed successfully using Enovation Zaurus, the objective is to concentrate on the broader roll-out of the process. Liesbeth and Maarten both indicate that this way of working should ideally apply to all departments of the UMCG and all home care organisations. In the meantime, Buurtzorg and ZINN have also joined the project. “Whether a patient comes from oncology or cardiology: the warm handover to home care needs to be standardised across the whole organisation”.
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