18 July 2017
The Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow is the largest paediatric teaching hospital in Scotland with its level 3 neonatal unit caring for over 800 babies per year.
All neonatal care is provided onsite, including cardiology for patients from across Scotland. The hospital continues to provide a breadth of neonatal expertise that sees it being recognised as a centre for excellence in healthcare in the UK and beyond.
Neonatal staff at RHC NNU recognise how important it is for parents of babies and the wider family unit to be involved in the care of their baby. Following team discussions, family-integrated-care was identified as providing the method by which the NNU could improve communication between medical staff and parents.
The first step was to establish a group of both staff and parents who could meet monthly to discuss issues affecting the unit, and who could work together to enhance family-integrated-care for newborns in the neonatal unit.
The HUGG (Helping Us Grow Group) was formed with a single vision: “To empower parents to be primary caregivers for their baby during their stay in the neonatal unit.” The group identified times when parents are not able to be by their baby’s cotside as an additional source of stress.
Dr Neil Patel, Consultant Neonatologist, at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, said: “Many parents are not able to be with their baby in the neonatal unit all day.” The medical team investigated whether technology could provide the answer to the challenges that parents of premature and sick babies face.
Following positive feedback from parents, RHC NNU ran a trial of vCreate’s secure video messaging platform, and have since made video updates available for all babies. vCreate enables nurses to record video messages securely and send them to parents. Mums and dads can access the clips at any time and through any device. Then, when the baby goes home, parents can download the clips, and save them to form part of a baby care diary. vCreate worked closely with the hospital’s governance and IT team to ensure that the solution reflected data protection and security criteria. In accordance with data protection regulations, once the parents of a baby have downloaded their clips, the administrator is alerted and reminded to delete the clips.
Tips for using secure video messaging in the NNU
Listen to parents – When discussing the potential benefits of video messaging ensure the parents have all the facts and wait for their feedback before going further.
Get internal departments involved early – Involving your hospital’s governance team as early as possible will ensure that sign-off is prompt.
Speak with the nursing team – Reassure nurses about the benefits of video messaging and emphasise videos need to work in tandem with existing care goals.
Communicate training – Let the entire team know that training is available
To read more about the Royal Hospital for Children NNU and their video project, download the case study.