Clinicians in Cork Kerry Community Healthcare are using video technology to continue vital appointments with the public as safely and efficiently as possible, despite the impact of Covid-19.
While there are many measures in place to make sure that appointments in clinical spaces are safe for all involved, in some case it is possible to offer appointments using video technology, which means that people can have their appointments in their own home, rather than face-to-face at a clinic.
This is referred to as telemedicine or virtual clinics, and the online appointments have been very well received.
Some of the community health services offering video appointments include nursing, physiotherapy, dietetics, occupational therapy, psychology, counselling and many others.
In an effort to demystify what is a new service, the above video at explains how easy video appointments are.
The video features Speech and Language Therapist Eithne O’Donovan, who explains the many advantages of using video consultations:
'Tele-practice has a number of advantages. In the current climate it allows me to see clients, some of whom are cocooning. It also facilitates physical distancing. It minimises the number of clients attending health and primary care centres, making it safer for both staff and clients who have to attend in person,' she says.
Eithne O’Donovan adds that those taking part in appointments from home find it very useful.
'Tele-practice is a really great alternative to face to face therapy sessions and is safe and easy to use. Clients have been telling me that they are happy and are more relaxed in their own homes,' she says.
While the option isn’t suitable for everyone or every type of appointment, in many cases it can reduce the need for someone to attend a healthcare facility, thereby reducing the risk of spread of Covid-19
Anyone who is offered a remote appointment will be contacted by letter, phone or text in advance with details of how and when to log into their appointment, and then can simply click on a link using a smart phone, tablet or laptop.
The technology is simple, safe, easy to use and reliable which has been designed and tested specifically for use in clinical settings.