Patient consultation using Microsoft Teams

Improved Quality of Life for Cystic Fibrosis Patients through use of Microsoft Teams for Consultations

Frank  O'Donnell

Frank O'Donnell

Public Sector Lead

Read Time, 4 min.

Improved Quality of Life for Cystic Fibrosis Patients through use of Microsoft Teams for Consultations at University Hospital Limerick

 

Pilot programme reduces infection risk and improves therapy outcomes for patients and clinicians

Part of the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland, University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has been piloting online consultations using Microsoft Teams for patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), an inherited chronic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system.

 

According to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI), Ireland has the highest incidence of CF per head of population in the world, with three times the rate of the United States and the rest of the European Union. Ireland also has some of the most severe strains of CF, with 25 new cases of the disease reported each year on average.

 

Cystic Fibrosis patients require regular exercise to help keep their lungs clear

Physical activity and exercise are essential to managing CF. Over the last few months, the CF physio department in UHL has been using Microsoft Teams to deliver one-on-one video exercise classes for a select group of patients.

 

These exercise classes help keep CF patients’ lungs clear of a layer of mucus that builds up as a result of their illness, and over time, these classes can help slow down the decline in lung health.

 

One of the major problems faced by people living with CF is that they are highly susceptible to infections from bacteria that lives in the lungs – because of this, hospital appointments can pose an increased risk of infection.

 

Precautions need to be taken to ensure that patients with the disease do not meet in person, as this can pose a ‘cross infection’ risk and increase the chance of developing infections as a result of the different bacteria living in each individual’s lungs.

 

As a result, it can be difficult for medical clinicians to book appointments in person, and without these regular preventative care appointments a patient’s health can deteriorate.

 

Online consolations reduce the time and cost involved in travelling to appointments

Providing the option of an online consultation using Microsoft Teams has been met with positivity.

 

One of the recurring pieces of feedback Microsoft has received since starting this pilot programme is that ‘Teams consultations are much more convenient for both the patient and clinician, with both finding it easy to get set up and start communicating using the Microsoft Teams App.

 

While it is still important for patients to have in-person appointments at the hospital, the introduction of online consultations provides an alternative and has helped to significantly reduce the time and cost involved in patients travelling to and from appointments. It has also resulted in better quality consultations for patients, as travelling long distances can lead to fatigue.

 

To give an example, one patient that attends UHL physio appointments must travel 45 minutes to and from the hospital for their regular exercise sessions. The patient was arriving to appointments exhausted after using their energy on travel, which had a negative impact on how much they were getting out of the exercise sessions. In this case, the introduction of online consultations has helped overcome this issue and contributed to improving the patient’s overall quality of life.

 

Clinicians have reported that the introduction of new technology for consultations has empowered some of their teenage patients, as it has given them more independence and ownership over how they treat and control their condition.

 

These younger patients are now able to communicate with their physio and log into their appointments independently using their mobile phones, meaning they no longer depend on their family or friends to take them to and from appointments.

 

 

Increased flexibility and patient access for clinicians

On the clinician side, Microsoft Teams has provided more flexibility by providing the capability to book back to back appointments with patients.

 

This isn’t usually an option when working with CF patients, as after each appointment the clinic or meeting room has to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilised to reduce the risk of the patients picking up an infection. This process is both costly and time consuming.

 

More regular check-ups make it easier for the clinician to track progress and ensure patients are receiving the right level of care and advice.

 

Although this project is still in the pilot stage, it’s a great example of the value technology can bring to the healthcare sector in both Ireland and beyond, as we work towards the ultimate goal of helping medical clinicians deliver better outcomes for patients. It is a critical element in realising a more sustainable health system as it continues to be faced with increasing demand for services.

 

Frank O’Donnell

Public Sector Lead

 

Looking to empower your care Teams?

Read how Microsoft Teams can help.

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • A guide to GDPR for universities

    A guide to GDPR for universities

    With the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect on May 25, understand how universities like yours can take the right steps towards compliance with this free eBook – and other useful resources. Your university on a journey on a journey Your university is on a journey with lots of ‘data subjects’. They’re […]

  • Reimagining education: From remote to hybrid learning

    Reimagining education: From remote to hybrid learning

    The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a torrent of individual and small-group responses as to how education could be transformed. We have found a groundswell of interest in the question, “How best to take advantage of the new opportunities arising from the disruption?” What people desperately need are opportunities to team up and find pathways of […]

Government

  • Iceland runs on Trust

    How the cloud helped a small nation realise big ambitions

    In December 2015, the Icelandic government kicked off a digital infrastructure review. With more than 100 different suppliers managed by over 100 IT managers in each public institution, the brief was clear; to simplify operations and streamline IT for over 20,000 users. The solution: Fast forward two and a half years, and a decision was […]

  • three women gathered around a Microsoft Surface

    How Belfast Healthcare & Social Care Trust is Digitally Transforming

    Digitally Connecting Vulnerable Patients to Care Facilities Partnering with Microsoft to help dedicated staff save valuable hours to put into care Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is one of the UK’s largest integrated health and social care providers with over 20,000 employees supporting a population of 340,000 service users. It faced the increasing challenge […]

Healthcare

  • The ‘Big Bang’ approach to digital transformation – and how to make it work

    The ‘Big Bang’ approach to digital transformation – and how to make it work

    These days there’s no such thing as ‘business as usual’. Change and disruption are the new normal. Just think of the changes affecting your organization right now, with new technology and techniques driving new attitudes and expectations from employees and customers alike. Everything is changing. And the one thing all those changes have in common […]

  • logo

    Why trust is the essential ingredient in healthcare digital transformation.

    My phone had scarcely stopped ringing for weeks. Now it was ringing again. “Veronica,” said the voice at the other end, “we have an idea!” Immediately, I recognized who it was. I’ve known Carlo Tacchetti for almost as long as I’ve been at Microsoft. He’s a professor at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University and the […]

Manufacturing

  • Etex

    Etex uses modern tools to unite its business and better focus on customers

    When it comes to construction, all components must come together in a timely manner in order to produce the optimum product. While Etex, a Belgian building solution manufacturing company, helps make this a reality on a day-to-day basis, it wanted to find a way to enhance productivity and collaboration internally. With locations across more than […]

Retail

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • Ineco

    Ineco improves employee productivity with modern tools and AI

    Struggling with software doesn’t help people get more done. Likewise, if sharing files and collaborating on documents is difficult, productivity takes a hit. Ineco, a Spanish public sector company, understands this, which is why it set out to change the way employees interact with technology and one another. By deploying Microsoft 365 to its over […]

Digital Transformation

  • Digital Culture is not just for Millennials

    Digital Culture is not just for Millennials

    Digital Culture is not just for Millennials Last week the IoDNI invited me to sit on a panel with Dr Neil Bentley (WorldSkills UK) and Tony Danker (Be the Business) chaired by Dr Wendy Austin MBE. We discussed how can we ‘Boost Productivity through Technology and People’; an incredibly interesting discussion with many different perspectives! […]

Press

Security & Privacy

Tips