Setting it up in your practice
The tech requirements for video consulting
- High speed broadband or WiFi connection is required for the video link to work effectively. Many GP practices have insufficient bandwidth and additional WiFi was required in the practices that we collaborated with.
- Recommended minimum download speed: 1100 kbps (1.1Mbps)
- Recommended minimum upload speed: 700 kbps (0.7 Mbps)
- Recommended maximum latency: 150 ms.
You can test your speed and latency at Speedtest.
Comparing video and telephone, it was just all the non-verbal cues. It’s just, it is just better in one sense and you’re much more focussed on the person in front of you. So in terms of the quality it’s probably higher comparing video with telephone in terms of my attentiveness. It then stops me from multi-tasking though, like doing another patient’s prescription.
- The video call device must have a webcam, microphone and speakers.
- Some healthcare professionals prefer using two screens (eg. desktop computer with second or split screen or additional tablet in holder) in order to refer to the patient’s medical records during the video call.
It’s about emphasising that it’s like any consultations. So they would have to have the same rules about general appointments if you’re going to do videoing. It’s a slot to be respected and if you don’t connect that’s a 'Did not attend'. You know, that is as disruptive to the practice as not attending for any kind of face-to-face appointment. The rules about it. Respecting the appointment process is another.
- The programme that NHS Scotland is implementing for video consulting is called Attend Anywhere and it works similar to Skype in terms of WiFi/4G connection. Additional features include the ability to queue patients supporting clinical flow processes. To use Attend Anywhere, you need to have Google Chrome installed on your device. If you do not have Google Chrome installed, you can download it for free. If you wish, you can uninstall it later.
- Clinicians in our study recommended block booking of several video calls, rather than making a VC during usual surgery clinics. After the equipment is set up and logged in, it is easier to do several video calls together.
At the start there were a few teething problems, getting the technology to link up when I did the initial ones. I found it much easier when I did the batch [of VCs] at the end, because it was just slicker
- A longer 15 minute appointment slot was recommended for the initial VC, as the technology sometimes requires adjustment before the consultation can proceed. Once regular video calls had taken place without any technological issues, the appointment times could be reduced to the usual 10 minute slot.