Why an Ethernet connection is vital to healthcare and its services.
With the coronavirus pandemic crippling the nation, the world and the healthcare system as we know it has changed dramatically.
On the frontline, the NHS is going above and beyond to prevent the spread while attempting to cure those struck down with the illness.
Doctor’s surgeries are having to take extra precautions so that they can still treat patients without risking a coronavirus outbreak within their practice.
Elsewhere, COVID-19 is having a significant effect on families and has torn them apart as relatives are forced to remain in hospitals and care homes without having their loved ones visit them.
However, an Ethernet solution could help every aspect of our healthcare services and transform the way it works not only during the current climate but for years to come.
According to The Topol Review by NHS Health Education England, it is predicted that 90% of all jobs within the NHS will require some element of digital skills within 20 years, so it’s essential that reliable, and safe, connectivity solutions are introduced sooner rather than later.
Connecting the frontline
In wards across the country and, especially in A&E, advances in sensors and wearables could carve a path for much earlier diagnosis and faster access to treatment.
At the moment, an estimated 70-80% of all clinical decisions rely on the result of a test, typically performed in an NHS pathology lab. However, having a safe, secure and reliable Ethernet connection installed within the hospitals could support frontline workers in accessing the results much quicker than they do at present. As the testing labs become increasingly decentralised, the connectivity between electronic patient records and laboratory information will become ever more vital as frontline workers may be able to access test results within seconds of them being completed and uploaded onto the network.
Surgeons and doctors have seen advancements in surgical practice with robots taking over some of the most complex operations. Robotics in surgery can only be advanced and implemented however, if hospitals have the right connectivity, and the right devices, in place to support their machines. Robots aren’t only useful in theatre though as they can also manufacture and fit bionic limbs using 3D scanning and printing methods and they can also offer companionship to patients, easing the pressure off nurses in wards.
Connecting the GPs
Since the coronavirus pandemic, GP surgeries have taken measures to protect themselves and their patients and, in some cases, they’ve turned to technology to assist them.
Instead of attending the practice, doctors are now conducting appointments using video technology. Not only does this eradicate the danger of spreading COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, but it also means the patients can be comfortable in their own homes. This is especially useful for vulnerable or elderly patients as they don’t have to leave their homes to attend appointments and, instead, can remain warm, comfortable and safe within their own four walls.
Smartphone apps have also taken some strains off GP staff as many patients can now book and manage their appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view their medical records using their mobile phone.
With families staying apart to protect lives, they’ve had to find innovative ways of staying connected and keeping in touch with one another. Video calls have seen an exponential rise since the pandemic began with some video apps reporting a 1000% rise in calls.
For those residents in care homes or patients in hospitals, video calls have become a vital part of their daily lives and an essential point of contact.
However, there’s no reason why video calls won’t be a mainstay in care homes and hospitals. Not only will it reduce the number of visitors within the facilities, but it also helps those relatives who may be a long-distance away to keep in regular contact with their loved ones and remain close to them, however far away they may be.
Whatever the future of healthcare may look like, its evident things won’t ever be the same again. Whether that’s because GPs will retain more video appointments or whether more surgeries will be undertaken by a robot, it’s clear that a stable, secure and reliable Ethernet solution remains at the heart of it all.