As our team went remote, technology helped us stay connected

When the pandemic hit this spring, we had to find new ways of working. Embracing technology like Pando has been a key part of this.

Jessica Studman, Tissue Viability Nurse, Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust

As a tissue viability nurse working at the Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust, my team works across all wards and community teams. Previously, that meant a lot of moving about! If anyone was worried about a patient’s pressure sore or wound, then we’d visit in person to make an assessment. If that wasn’t possible, we’d have to ask our colleagues to grapple with digital cameras and upload images to share via email. When the pandemic hit this spring, we had to find new ways of working. Embracing technology like Pando has been a key part of this.

Without Pando, we would have really struggled to continue to provide care over recent months. As a team, our overall capacity was reduced, as was our ability to visit patients physically. However, we’ve been able to use the app to review images sent directly from colleagues on the ward, offer advice, and pull in the expertise of other teams when needed. We’ve made teams on Pando for each ward that includes their senior staff and all of the CCNs, enabling us to communicate swiftly with our colleagues in each area. It also means everyone in each team is across the detail of our advice, meaning no information is lost in silos and no-one has to repeat themselves. Overall, it means our specialist care and advice is getting to patients much quicker. 

We’ve also been able to use the technology to stay in touch with teams working across local care homes. Adult social care settings are having to be extremely cautious about receiving external visitors, so being able to offer advice and support remotely has been incredibly useful for everyone involved. The on-site teams can consult us about any concerns they have and we can use photo sharing and messaging to advise on next steps and monitor progress. Likewise, we’ve used Pando to keep in touch with our community nursing teams and other departments such as dermatology. Thanks to these communications, we’ve still been able to feel like a connected team. That’s been so vital during such a stressful and unprecedented time.

As we head into what’s predicted to be a very difficult winter for myself and my colleagues, the use of new apps such as Pando will continue to play a key role. Looking to the longer-term, I’m excited about the prospect of incorporating this type of technology into our day to day roles permanently. As a team, we’re using this app to make decisions more quickly, reduce admin, and manage our time better. It means that we can spend more time with patients who need tailored, hands-on care. As usage of Pando expands across the Trust, we’ll only reap more benefits.

This year so far has been characterised by a collective effort to find our way through the fog. We’ve come together as a team, despite being apart, to ensure we can provide the care our patients need. Despite the pressure and frequent dark days, there are glimmers of light that I’m focusing on. If we can emerge from this pandemic with smarter, quicker and more efficient systems that free up our time and allow us to care better, then that will be a true positive for staff and patients alike. Until then, we’ll continue to support each other to help keep everyone we care for as safe and well as possible.

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