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PACEMAKER CHECKUP BOOTH CUTS WAITING TIMES

Patients with pacemakers can now be assessed remotely via hospital-based assessment booths, freeing up patient time and NHS resources, according to researchers at the University of Southampton.

A trial model of the monitoring cubicle (‘Anytime’, Medtronic) at Southampton General Hospital allows selected patients to visit at their own convenience, instantly downloading information from their pacemakers to a secure server which staff are then able to access remotely.  Once their results have been evaluated, the patient can be contacted at home and advised on any further action to be taken.

anytime-booth-internalProfessor John Morgan, consultant cardiologist and study lead, said: “We hope that patients who are due an appointment will find the whole process much smoother, and those who feel the need for an unscheduled trip if they’ve felt a bit unwell will feel more relaxed in the knowledge they can come without the strain of booking a date and making arrangements when they have not been feeling at their best”.

“This innovation is the sort of development in healthcare that we need,” he added: “we can free up patients who don’t need to see medical staff from having to attend clinics while focusing staff time on the minority of patients who actually need to see a doctor – an example of how the health service can improve the use of NHS resources”.

Depending on the results of the ongoing trial, the booth could eventually be rolled-out across the community in health centres and GP practices, according to Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust.

References

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

Published on: May 6, 2011

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