Secure screen sharing to enhance patient therapy and care

Secure screen sharing
6 August 2019

Specialist pathologists at western Sydney’s Westmead Hospital are expanding the boundaries of their laboratory to support clinicians in regional NSW hospitals, thanks to a ‘use case’ leveraging Skype for Business.

Molecular testing is a specialist test and samples often need to be couriered from regional hospitals to metro hospitals for analysis and reporting. This can take up to two days and incurs costly courier fees.

Sharing the pathology scans over Skype for Business means the timeline from scan to report can be reduced to hours, with the potential for patients to receive treatment as quickly as patients in city hospitals.

Pathology staff at Westmead Hospital were trained by eHealth NSW’s Conference, Collaboration and Wireless team to use Skype for Business last December and immediately saw the potential of the platform to support their regional colleagues with more immediate diagnosis and treatment.

The ‘use case’ was led by Tom Olma, Senior Hospital Scientist in-charge, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Laboratory.

“Secure screen sharing using Skype for Business has the potential to transform the way we operate,” he said. “Staff in regional hospitals are multi-skilled however they don’t always have specialist skills, which can increase time to result. Waiting for answers when specimens are couriered to metropolitan laboratories can present added stress for patients.

“We can empower regional pathology teams and gain significant time and cost savings which in turn has the potential for patients to leave hospital earlier, thereby freeing up hospital beds.”

Collaboration like this relies on the eHealth NSW infrastructure stack including: Health Wide Area Network (HWAN) to link hospitals and health facilities; Government Data Centres to host services and applications such as Skype for Business; Wireless Core to allow machines to talk to each other; and State-wide Identity to authenticate users.

From desktop to data centre, our investments in eHealth core infrastructure support ‘use cases’ such as this.

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