LOGIC March 2018 Vol 17 Vol 1 - Page 47

The use of technology as an enabler in integrating teams in Primary Health Care. Emma Hickson Director of Nursing Primary and Community Capital & Coast District Health Board The introduction of the Health Care Home (HCH) model into Capital and Coast District Health Board (DHB) general practices is representing an ongoing transformation in the way primary care is delivered. Since 2016, an increasing number of General Practice teams have been supported to become Health Care Homes with the aim that 80% of the population will registered in a HCH practice by the end of the financial year 18/19. The integration of community services such as District Nursing and Community Allied Health into general practice as a core element of that model is also changing how community teams interact. March 2018 L.O.G.I.C HCHs are required to hold multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings. The MDT meetings are routinely held to proactively plan care for people with complex needs. However, the challenge for most busy community services team members is the additional time required to travel and be present at these MDT meetings. After an initial period when integrating team members have developed relationships and understanding of each other’s roles by being physically present at each MDT, the use of technology to enable virtual attendance is being trialled. Since October 2017, piloting of the virtual MDT meetings and the trialling and use of different technologies has enabled key findings and lessons to be learnt from early experiences. An initial decision to use Skype as the application was agreed at the HCH Community Services Integration (CSI) Steering Group meeting. Preparation commenced two weeks prior to the first planned test for a virtual meeting by downloading Skype to the Community Services staff’s iPads. Staff had to use new gmail accounts to overcome the DHB’s firewall. The DHB’s information and communication technology (ICT) staff assisted with the Skype download and connectivity at the general practice setting. A test run was conducted prior to the actual MDT meeting with the Allied Health team video conferencing from the main hospital site and the District Nurse using an iPad and being ‘parked’ within close proximity to the practice. For the video conferencing capability, the practice purchased a camera and also had to create a new gmail account. A standard Skype application was used and on the day of the first meeting, the 45