View from the Frontline: How Pando is keeping my team connected during the pandemic
At the start of the pandemic, my team recognised very quickly that we were going to have to start working differently.
By Alex Macfarlane
At the start of the pandemic, my team recognised very quickly that we were going to have to start working differently. Things moved so fast back in February that we transformed our ways of working in days; creating systems that would not only enable staff and patients to stay safe but also ensure vital healthcare could reach those who needed it.
As a Specialist Paediatric Dietitian at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, I work as part of a team whose patients often move between wards and alongside colleagues spread across a range of sites and shifts. In normal times, we’d mostly communicate with each other face-to-face and come together each morning to hand over information and discuss any issues. However, once the pandemic hit the UK, it was quickly apparent that our normal ways of working were no longer possible.
During Covid, we’ve had to factor in the reality of patients accessing appointments remotely, restrictions on access to hospitals, and colleagues having to self-isolate. Creating new ways of maintaining lines of communication as efficiently and safely as possible was paramount to our work continuing.
How Pando has helped
I first heard of Pando from other dietitians and doctors working in the hospital. We’d sometimes use email or phone in pre-covid situations when physical meetings weren’t possible, but we were conscious that if we were going to scale up this kind of remote communication, we’d need to ensure patient confidentiality was prioritised and that systems were in place to capture all information securely. Pando was therefore an ideal solution.
With Pando, the whole team has been able to connect, share, and consult, regardless of where we or the patients are. We’ve been able to take photos of notes, share patient charts, and enable smooth patient handovers. Being able to discuss cases – either within our speciality teams or across the whole department – whilst reducing the need for face to face discussions has been a true lifeline. And we can do this all of while on the move. The team can be on the ward, in their office, or in the community and still engage with updates and information sharing.
The last 7 months (and those still to come) have been a test of endurance and ingenuity. Whilst frustrating and exhausting at times, it’s also been incredible to see how colleagues across the NHS have overcome challenges in order to get patients the care they need. The role of technology such as Pando has been key in this, as was the speed at which new systems were embraced by clinicians and management.
As we look ahead to what seems likely to be a long, tough winter, we can take some comfort from the fact that, thanks to technology, our colleagues are still there alongside us, supporting each other, and championing great care across the whole NHS.