Evelina London Children’s Hospital, a part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has announced that in partnership with Polycom, it has improved its cardiology staff productivity by 94% by connecting cardiologists to the operating room (OR) using telemedicine.

The enterprise team at the hospital, in collaboration with Polycom, has installed a combination of a RealPresence Group 500 system and a Philips Ultrasound cart, which enables operators to transmit clear data and scan images in full HD to one of several review stations within the hospital.

Polycom equipment allows cardiology consultants to share high-quality images and collaborate in real-time to make informed decisions more quickly and help to reduce operation times.

Evelina London Children’s Hospital consultant paediatric cardiologist Dr John Simpson said that, currently, if a senior cardiologist is required for real-time review of intraoperative scan images, the on-service consultant needs to scrub, change into theatre clothing and view the scan images in the operating theatre.

"This takes around 90 minutes and may compete with other clinical commitments on the ward, intensive care unit or talking to parents," Dr Simpson added.

The new system allows the cardiologist to view the intraoperative images and communicate with the team in theatre and discuss the patient’s needs. The entire process takes about five minutes.

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The system ensures patients have quicker operations, diagnosis by the most senior doctors, and less time under anaesthesia.

As a result of working with the Polycom telemedicine solution, Evelina London saves approximately 1,300 hours of consultants’ and surgeons’ time each year. Staffing costs have been significantly reduced and now cardiologists and surgeons can spend valuable time helping more children and their parents.

Evelina London Children’s Hospital treats around 50,000 children a year across hospital and community services. Facilities include 140 beds, a 20-bed intensive care unit, six OR theatres and a kidney dialysis unit.

Image: A cardiac consultant collaborating in real-time with the surgical team via a Polycom personal video collaboration system. Photo courtesy of Polycom, Inc.