Recently, a picture emerged in the national media of residents from Wellingborough, Northants, seen queueing in the rain for over an hour, just to secure an appointment with their local GP.
According to Dan Boddington, Systems Engineer at StarLeaf, these images reinforce the need for Virtual Clinics, which could bring enormous benefits to local communities.
“The sorry scene of patients queueing in the rain for lengthy periods is a concern for patient welfare and raises the question, why aren’t more communities being afforded access to video conferencing technologies to create virtual clinics?
“Virtual consultation via secure and reliable video conferencing allows medical staff to easily conduct medical consultations without the need for patients to physically visit a doctor’s surgery.Providing patient-centred video healthcare to communities offers enormous scope for local practices and national health services to eliminate unnecessary difficulties in logistic on-site attendance, delays in diagnosis, and repeat prescription orders.
“For example, offering a patient with mobility issues the option to receive a virtual consultation at their local GP rather than travelling many miles to a distant specialist is now possible with quality video conferencing, video calling, instant messaging, and all operated securely by cloud-based solutions that are easy to use.
“On-site meeting room systems set up in clinics, hospitals, and surgeries can be easily installed for quality room video conferencing, which would speed up diagnosis, alleviate the pressure on local GPs from increasing patient appointments and, crucially, help to diagnose patient symptoms quicker to determine treatment. Ultimately, GPs can work more flexibly enabled by intuitive video conferencing to remove the stress for patients having to physically wait for long periods and in sometimes unpleasant conditions,” concluded Boddington.