The Royal Preston Hospital provides a full range of district general hospital services and high-quality, specialized services to patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria, including wound care and tissue viability services. This Tissue Viability Team is a specialist part of the Corporate Nursing Directorate at the Royal Preston Hospital.
The team undertakes services from routine wound care and dressing changes to assessing circulation and providing advice on the prevention of ulcers, pressure reducing, and negative pressure wound therapy.
But, with the sudden rise of the pandemic and being already understaffed, the nurses were facing a humongous challenge.
Since there is only a small number of specialist Tissue Viability Nurses (TVNs) in the organization, when the ward staff would change wound dressings, they need specialist advice from the TNV team. The quickest way of doing this is to take photographs. The TVNs (who may be working at another site or ward) can then review the photographs immediately and provide timely advice and support to the ward staff.
“One of the important aspects of wound care is clinical photography as it helps to plan treatment, monitor progression and document recovery,” says Andrea Jones, Medical Photography team Leader, The Royal Preston Hospital. But due to visiting restrictions and a reduction in the number of patient appointments through the pandemic, photographic wound monitoring had to be adapted to minimize contact between patients and staff, to protect both groups from any risk of exposure and infection.”
Hence, The Royal Preston reached out to Medialogix, one of the bigger names in hospital digital imaging providers in the UK, to address their concerns. The company integrated it’s Medialogix Clinical Uploader App with the Royal Preston Hospital’s existing Fotoware Digital Asset Management System (DAM).
Integrating the App in the existing platform
The Clinical Uploader App enabled the staff to collect patient demographics, consent, files(photographs/audio/video) and any other associated metadata. Alongside collecting the critical data in a single package, the App provides authentication, role-based access control and upload to FotoWeb. This enabled the associated clinical teams to immediately view the data and patients’ files.
The deployment of the App, in conjunction with FotoWare, the Digital Asset Management system, ensures a secure end-to-end process with full auditability, the accuracy of data input, control of user accounts, and documentation of patient permissions.
“Being able to photograph wounds at the same time as a dressing change means that photographs are immediately available for viewing on the central system, avoiding the need for repeated wound exposure for specialist inspection and second opinions by other hospital teams,” adds Andrea Jones.
Supporting at Every Step of the Way
Throughout the integration process, Medialogix had regular meetings and calls with the TVN team to answer any queries, guide them through the testing process and ensure that the configuration supported their workflow. Also, the team of Medialogix ensured that the consent model was in line with their organizational policies.
“We liaised with the IT department to ensure that accounts were created appropriately and that patient demographics were entered correctly. We listened to feedback and acted immediately on any issues affecting usability,” says Faisal Mahmood, Founder & CEO, Medialogix.
Reaping the Benefits
Medialogix’s Clinical Uploader App implementation has immensely improved and enhanced TVNs operations. It has reduced the number of staff contacts with patients as well as assisted the staff members to take infection control measures without compromising patient care and safety.
Now the associated clinical team can triage which patients they need to visit on an immediate basis. Furthermore, the integration also enabled them to provide the best wound care advice by viewing the photographs from any location.
“The result is amazing and has certainly helped streamline operations,” says Andrea, “We couldn’t have done that as easily or quickly without the app and Medialogix was on hand all of the time, to quickly answer any questions from myself and the team, and to respond to our feedback.
“The project’s immediate success means that the app is now being rolled out for use by Band 6 and above staff, which is great. It will assist them in providing the highest level of patient care and make their jobs easier.”
The Clinical Uploader applications aren’t just limited to a single department. It can be utilized across multiple healthcare specialties. As per Faisal Mahmood, “In Dermatology, use of the App will allow consultants working in remote locations where there is no Medical Photography service provision to document patients’ moles and suspicious lesions prior to pathology testing, or removal or just for monitoring purposes over a period of time for any changes that may indicate skin cancer.”
“The use of the App also supports the organizational goal of providing 24/7 patient care by providing an out of hours facility in any area deemed to require clinical photography such as the children’s safeguarding team and operating theatres.”