NHS Highland’s video consulting service NHS Near Me has been recognised by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
NHS Near Me has received this year’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Lucian Leape Institute Medtronic Safety and Culture Technology Award for improving patient safety through the successful implementation of technology and culture change.
NHS Highland’s NHS Near Me Lead Clare Morrison said:
“This work aims to reduce the impact of travel on patient care and improve equity of access to services by enabling patients to attend video appointments from their homes or from a local clinic.
“We are absolutely delighted for our work to be recognised internationally by the IHI which is a world leader in healthcare improvement. We started this work as a small pilot in Caithness, which was then turned into a Highland-wide service.
“Earlier this year, we hosted visits from other NHS organisations wanting to learn about how we are delivering NHS Near Me and our processes have been shared across the UK. To now receive international recognition for this work is amazing.
“However, we still have a long way to go to fully scale this up. We have the infrastructure in place for NHS Near Me across the Highlands so patients anywhere can have a video consultation from home. We now need all of our clinical services to use NHS Near Me whenever it is clinically appropriate so that patients are only asked to travel if it is necessary. This is about delivering person-centred care, as well as maximising the environmental benefit.”
The IHI’s Chief Clinical and Safety Officer, Tejal K. Gandhi, said:
“We know that inequitable access to care is a patient safety concern. Through this program, the NHS Highland team has successfully harnessed technology to improve not only operational efficiency, but also the overall quality and safety of care for their patients.”
The Vice President and General Manager of Minimally Invasive Therapies Group, Medtronic, Frank Chan, said:
“We congratulate the NHS Near Me team for their dedication to their patients, their creative use of telehealth technology, and their recognition of how change affects all parties involved – from patients to clinicians to nonclinical staff. “This work truly embodies the spirit of the Safety Culture and Technology Innovator Award.”