Blog | Supporting our customers throughout the COVID-19 lockdown
The UK was officially placed under lockdown on the 23rd March in an unprecedented step to limit the spread of coronavirus. As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, almost every business became affected in some capacity – including Intouch with Health.
Naturally, the regular visits our Projects team made to customers stopped. The team began working from home and video calls became the primary communication between the team and our customers.
Upgrading existing customers
Throughout March - June, the Projects team were busier than ever. We were busy supporting customers adapt to infection prevention and control measures, social distancing requirements, and delivering the technology infrastructure required to support new ways-of-working and meet new patient needs in response to COVID-19.
Working remotely as much as possible, the team upgraded the following hospitals to the latest version of the Intouch Platform - Version 7:
- Aintree University Hospital
- Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
- The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Sunderland Royal Hospital
- The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre
Upgrading to Version 7 of the Intouch Platform allows customers to enjoy many benefits, including:
- UX (user experience design) and UI (user interface design) enhancements - the aesthetic and usability of the whole platform has been updated and enhanced
- Additional custom / advanced settings during check-in, patient calling and electronic outcomes processes
- The reporting system is enhanced with more comprehensive analytics
- Kiosk screens are fully HD (High Definition) including better quality imagery and fonts
- Future platform releases, patches and upgrades can be facilitated in reduced time and with less resources required
Product launches with new customers
We have also been busy deploying Intouch solutions for new customers during this time.
A recent deployment project included launching the Synopsis pre-operative solutions at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. Their actual go-live launch was in May. Patients at Worcestershire can now complete their pre-op health questionnaire digitally from the comfort and safety of their home. Patients share the results with the care team so they can be ‘triaged’ ahead of surgery more efficiently than ever. The Trust is therefore able to support patients isolate at home. Patients only need to attend hospital for a face-to-face assessment if it is absolutely necessary.
A change in how we work
Throughout the COVID lockdown period, not only have we been supporting our customers adapt to new ways-of-working, but we have had to adapt too. While we can, and have needed to work remotely, we still need to conduct site visits to be able to see the layout of the hospital and departments, especially new Trusts. It is not until we have done this can we recommend the optimal position of hardware around the departments and comment upon other patient flow practises for that specific environment.
Customer training is now run online with Microsoft Teams meetings and our own eLearning portal. This has proved to be a leap forward in saving time for all concerned. A single session is able to reach multiple locations simultaneously, and sessions are recorded and passed to any staff who are unable to attend the live virtual training sessions.
Being able to see the site and make adjustments to meet the needs for each individual site remains a critical part of the Project team’s responsibility. However, the lockdown period has shown that although important, site visits can be worked around and kept to a minimum.
As ever, our thanks continue to go to all of the hard-working NHS staff and particularly during this time.