Connectivity between patients requiring medical advice and the hospital is practical and effectively provides crucial medical support. BNH Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, believes in investing in communication technology fundamentals to connect health anywhere, and anytime. Contributed by Dr. Rueangkit Ratanayanont, Dr. Santi Subpinyo and Dr. Titi Eiampaisal.
Despite being centrally located between Silom and Sathorn Road, Bangkok’s business, financial, and entertainment districts, BNH’s network reaches further under the “Urban Community” concept.
“Virtual ER”, launched in 2011, serves as a direct means of communication between BNH’s Emergency Room (ER) and patients via Skype. Initially, this telehealth service covered only nearby hotels, serviced apartments and condominiums where many foreigners, tourists, and foreign businesspeople live but has now expanded beyond this.
Patients or helpers can speak to and see the nurses in the ER from wherever they are with simple tools including internet connection, a computer, a tablet PC or a smart phone that supports video calls. People wishing to contact the hospital need to add the hospital identification “bnhhospital” to their contact list.
BNH’s Emergency Room (ER) staff is on standby 24/7 to receive calls and provide medical advice and support. Using a web camera, the nurses can see the condition of the patients, assess the situation and provide advice based on their findings. Bystanders can be instructed and guided to provide first aid and even Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) while the ambulance is dispatched.
The Virtual ER project has been managed by co-operation between the hospital’s international marketing and IT department. A network system for Virtual ER has been installed separately from the main hospital’s network to create an independent and dedicated connection. In the ER, computers and high-definition cameras for Skype have been configured exclusively for this project.
The project was initiated in October 2011, and took two months for implementation and trial prior to introduction into hotels and serviced apartments nearby. Now, the hospital receives an average of four calls a day from different locations, seeking advice for minor consultations from cuts to allergic treatments. In an emergency situation, the hospital is ready for any serious accidents and major cases.
By the end of 2012, 200 properties with 2,000 Skype accounts are expected to have access to this service. This is expected to provide a revenue increase of 20 per cent or THB 350 million (US$ 11.4 million). The next step in this project is the creation of a new account for general consultation by nurses during working hours.
This account will be separate from the Virtual ER account as it will only respond to general health inquiries. Furthermore, the hospital plans to expand and promote the Virtual ER to all of the Bangkok Metropolitan area including its mass transit services, and throughout Thailand by 2015.
In a visit to Ngee Ann Secondary School yesterday (22 July), FutureGov found students deeply ...
The Infocomm Development Authority and Ministry of Education of Singapore have initiated plans to introduce ...
Ngee Ann Secondary School’s students are on a bid to “change the world” with ...