A new initiative being trialled at Dorset County Hospital will allow patients to attend appointments at the touch of a button.
Attend Anywhere is a new type of software which allows patients to attend their appointments whilst in the comfort of their own home.
The software is part of a Dorset-wide trial with Paediatric Consultant William Verling being the first at DCH to take part.
Having worked alongside Medical Secretary Carly Shaw to trial the software for four months, Dr Verling believes Attend Anywhere is an alternative that can save patients and their parents a lot of time and stress.
He said: “My experience with Attend Anywhere has been fantastic. The software is a massive time saver with ‘hands-off’ appointments.
“If you think about the time it takes a parent to pick up their child from school, drive to the hospital, find a place to park and then wait for their appointment, it has taken half their day away. That’s half a day from work and school, and that time adds up.
“With less patients having to come in to the hospital it could also help with parking problems and congestion and in turn have a positive environmental impact.”
Patients suitable for Attend Anywhere would receive their appointment letter as usual, but the venue would be a URL link which can be accessed online through any device.
Once signed in, the patient will wait in a virtual waiting room and from that the consultants can connect for their face-to-face appointment.
The initiative builds on the back of successful trials at Dorset Healthcare.
Dr Verling added: “The feedback I’ve received has been really, really positive. It’s easy to use and the video calls are clear and of high quality. We also found that other software had certain limitations that Attend Anywhere doesn’t.
“We know how busy people are, and having a child with additional health needs you need to bring into Dorchester for ongoing appointments can impact significantly on work, school and family time. By using this software it saves so much of that time.
“Attend Anywhere is all about convenience and that’s exactly what it provides.
“I’ve also found that some children find it more comfortable to be in their own home and therefore they open up more to us.
“It is important to note that this does not replace standard outpatient appointments and those children who are being seen for the first time or need to be examined will be offered face-to-face appointments.”