VC2020 – Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Video Consultation?
Video Consultation is a doctors’ appointment that takes place via your own device that has microphone, speaker and video capability (usually a smart phone, laptop or tablet). You will meet and talk to your health care team as in a traditional hospital clinic.
Why should I consider a Video Consultation?
Meeting up with your health care team is a crucial part of your care planning. Current social distancing requirements and extra precautions to reduce the spread of COIVD19 means that as your healthcare team we need to connect with you in ways other than a traditional clinic appointment. You can ‘attend’ a video consultation through your audio-video enabled device from a location of your choice without marked interference to your routine day. This method will also allow us to offer you more frequent reviews, if required.
Attending the clinic frequently can be challenging and may interfere with other aspects of your life like work and study. Taking time off work, school or university can be difficult logistically. In a traditional clinic you would need to spend time traveling to the hospital and a chunk of time is perhaps spent in the waiting room.
Will this mean I don’t have to attend for my routine hospital appointments?
Your doctor or healthcare team will assess if your consultation can be arranged through video or if a face-to-face appointment is necessary. Your preference will also be taken into account when choosing between th options. You will continue to attend your hospital appointments and/or your family practice treatment room sometimes. Measurements like weight, height, blood pressure checks and blood sampling cannot be undertaken as part of the Video Consultation. The Video Consultation will complement the hospital appointments but not replace them completely. It may be possible however to reduce the time between physical clinic visits.
I am interested, but apprehensive about the security risk involved in a video consultation.
The Video Consultation takes place through the Internet. The most familiar Web based systems are Skype/Zoom. The Video Consultation facility we use is provided by HSL, a firm specialising in Web based solutions for remote consultations. They have strict digital security rules and have a contract to supply secure connections with the Trust. The connection is much more secure than a standard Skype/Zoom call. The Consultation will take place through the Trust network and will meet our Information Governance standards. However, it is important to acknowledge that no conversation over the internet is 100 % secure.
Data security for your device is up to you. This can be helped by avoiding 3G/4G or public/open WiFi networks. You may wish to consider using a device connected via a password-protected WiFi network.
Will this affect confidentiality?
All your clinic contacts will be confidential. The Healthcare Professional you meet on video will ensure that the clinic is conducted confidentially just as any other clinic. The Clinic will be hosted from a room where the conversation cannot be overheard or the screen over looked. The doctor or nurse will continue to use Trust approved systems to access and update your clinical records. This will be similar to your routine hospital clinic visit.
No recording of the audio or visual part of the consultation will be made or stored.
Please ensure that you maintain your own privacy. Consider using a quiet room/space where you cannot be easily overheard and are unlikely to be interrupted.