View Health, an award-winning private health service, speaks to ACHS about utilising Information Communication Technology (ICT) to train staff and maintain high patient care standards throughout the pandemic.
1. Tell us about View Health
View Health - Chemo@Home is a national multi-award-winning health service that administers chemotherapy, immune therapies and other medical infusions for patients, in their home, workplace or wherever suitable and comfortable for patients and their family.
Our team of registered nurses, pharmacists and support staff provide unique, high quality and safe care to patients being treated for cancer, and chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s Disease.
Since our establishment in 2012, we have grown to over 100 team members and administer around 1500 treatments across Australia every month.
2. What have been some challenges your company have faced during COVID-19?
Like every business, View Health - Chemo@Home has been affected by staff illnesses and have had to pivot the business to better suit staff and patient needs.
Business activity quadrupled in a very short time as patients were unable or unwilling to receive their treatment in a hospital setting. We employed additional staff and adapted our processes to meet demand safely and in a controlled manner, which was extremely challenging and costly.
We worked on implementing new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) processes, for example the use of Google glasses for training new staff and transitioning all non-nursing staff into being able to work from home.
3. What changes have you made that have had significant improvements to the business?
The company has implemented many changes since the start of the pandemic. We adapted by utilising our ICT systems to recruit and train over 40 new staff in less than six months. We successfully implemented new infection control policies to ensure the safety of our nurses and patients, and to protect them against the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
4. How was your recent assessment experience? Was there anything in particular you learnt?
We sought out our accreditation during the first serious COVID-19 outbreak in Western Australia. It was challenging to ensure the ACHS accreditors saw the extent of our patient care without exposing the accreditors, staff and patients to new infection risks. We were pleased to have had our OWA and to have received an OA for medication management at a time where our business was having to respond and adapt quickly to challenges brought on by the pandemic. It is satisfying to know that we can continue to demonstrate our high standards through our accreditation status.
5. Do you have any advice for other members going through these programs?
COVID-19 has made the day to day running of health services difficult. Many organisations have experienced reduced staffing levels and have had to put in place stringent infection control measures to mitigate infection transmission so it is important to plan and utilise ICT as much as possible.
We utilised our ICT by having hyperlinks through to policies and discussion points to assist the accreditors in being able to quickly and efficiently being able to navigate through to areas they wished to access. We also made the best possible use of Facetime and the Microsoft Office Teams programs to allow team members and clients to discuss points of interest in real time with staff who were not necessarily in the office during accreditation. This greatly assisted in the management of risk and improved our communication processes.
Photo Caption - Pictured left to right: Lorna Cook (Company Director, View Health) and Julie Adams (Managing Director, View Health).