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Staying connected with our patients safely

Making sure we keep in contact with our patients and their families during the pandemic is crucial

Our Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Tania Davies, explains how we have been able to stay in touch with our patients and their families and carers during the pandemic.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way our nursing and medical teams assessed patients changed dramatically.

To meet the challenges of the pandemic, our community teams developed several ways to reach out to our vulnerable patients as well as their loved ones and carers. One of these ways has been the use of secure video calling through AccuRx video consultations.

I have found this tool really useful in supporting our families as it enables us to have face-to-face assessments without compromising patient safety. I recently had an experience with a family who were reluctant for us to visit due to their concerns about COVID-19. It was clear that their loved one was deteriorating and through an AccuRx video consultation, I was able to talk to them without wearing a mask and see the
patient and support the family safely.

Many GPs are using this technology to interact safely with their patients, which was the case for a lady who suffered with anxiety. She had found using this form of communication with her GP very beneficial and was keen to use it with us. I was able to talk through her breathlessness and discuss ways she could manage this symptom.

Using video calling means that I can still have regular appointments with patients and their families. I have an ongoing weekly catch up with one family whose father is having active treatment so I can offer support with his symptom management.

AccuRx has also allowed me to assess patients prior to much-needed visits and therefore reduces the time spent in the patient’s home.

As well as using AccuRx to interact with patients and families to manage their care, I have also used it to complete several benefits assessments. These forms can be complex and I have been able to advise and support families without needing to enter their homes.

AccuRx is such a useful tool to maintain connections at this time. While it does not replace necessary visits and is not always appropriate for some patients depending on their circumstances, it has become a vital part of our communication with our patients and their support networks.