A guest post from Ron Emerson, Polycom’s Global Director of Healthcare. Ron is a Registered Nurse and respected expert on telehealth. He is also a former member of the board of Directors for the American Telemedicine Association and Chair of the Industry Council.


Ron_Emerson.jpgEarlier this week, International Nurses Day was celebrated around the world. Inaugurated in 1965, this takes place every year on May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, and marks the huge contributions nurses make to society.


This therefore seems like a very appropriate week to pause and share with you some of the most recent success stories that we’ve seen in the field of nursing. Across Asia Pacific and globally, we have observed how many nurses and fellow healthcare professionals use telehealth to drive innovative practice, enhance procedures and increase overall performance and standards in patient care and knowledge transfer. Here are three impressive examples:


Western Australia-based health care providers: Silver Chain

This is a much talked about example of video helping nurses to truly defy distance. Silver Chain is one of the largest providers of community, clinical and health care services assisting over 40,000 people each year in Western Australia. With video, the organisation is now able to provide ongoing training and distribute relevant training materials to its nurses and volunteers across Western Australia, all from the company's head office.



Evelina London Children’s Hospital

Since implementing video, the hospital has saved about 1,300 hours of consultants’ and surgeons’ time each year – with even more efficiencies gained in nursing services and support. For example, cardiologist consultants can examine diagnostic-quality scans during complex operations in real time, without having to be physically present. The time to review scans is reduced from 90 minutes to five minutes and enables quicker operations and less time under anaesthetic for young patients. The time saved by consultants and nursing teams is now used to help more sick children and their parents.



UK National Health Service (NHS)
Telehealth is having a big impact on patients and healthcare practitioners at hospitals and Trusts across the UK. In the video below, a stroke specialist nurse and other colleagues explain their successful implementation of video to enable 24/7 care for stroke patients. This out-of-hours service is enabling medical professionals to save more lives.

Another NHS Trust is using mobile video conferencing solutions to enable nurses to observe patients progress in their own home and offer support should they need it. This saves the need for the patient or practitioner to travel.



You can learn more about telehealth by watching the short video below: a conversation on the topic that we recorded during my last visit to the Asia Pacific region earlier this year. (Allow it a few moments to load.) If you have any questions for me, please do get in touch by leaving a comment here or emailing me directly at ron.emerson@polycom.com




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