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Patients and staff benefit from new virtual ward rounds

Thanks to charitable donations, doctors have been using new technology to trial virtual ward rounds, reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 by minimising footfall on the hospital’s wards.

Patients continue to receive the same level of care and support, but doctors can speak to patients while they are in their hospital bed by using one of a number of iPads that have been donated
by the Dyson Foundation.

While a small clinical team needs to be on the wards in person during ward rounds, these new ways of working are proving successful in reducing disruption as well as the number of people on the ward at any one time.

RUH Medical Director Bernie Marden said:
“Our doctors and consultants can speak to patients without being on the ward and so can safely remove their masks, and patients have told us how they have appreciated being able to see their consultant’s face, which they wouldn’t normally be able to do if we were in full PPE by their bedside.

“Other clinical staff are able to join the rounds virtually too, so there’s only a small team of staff needed on the ward to physically conduct the ward round and operate the iPads, which are regularly cleaned and sanitised.

“Despite their being less people on the wards, our patients still get the same excellent level of care provided by our clinical teams, just more of it takes place virtually.

“We have also been able to improve the service we provide to our patients, as the patient can now see their test results and x-rays on the screen and have it explained to them by the consultant, something which is easier to do than before.

“We’re extremely grateful to Dyson for their donation, which has also meant we can use the iPads to help keep patients in touch with their families while visiting is suspended at the hospital.”