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Blood Health 2019

The role of digital case discussion in haemophilia care

photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Wavebreakmedia

Dr Daniel Livingstone

Health Education England Fellow, MedShr

A virtual ‘grand round’, multidisciplinary input on the go, and clinical support for health workers in developing countries. We explore how digital case discussion can support haemophilia practice.

Digital case discussion

Case based discussion is central to how clinicians learn and improve their practice, from junior doctors starting their medical career through to experienced consultant and nurse specialists. Grand rounds and meetings where cases are presented and discussed constitute an essential part of medical education – they provide an opportunity for healthcare professionals to learn from one another, reflect on challenging cases and ultimately improve patient care. They increase our exposure to a wider range of presentations than we could ever see in just our own practice.

MedShr is a case discussion app which gives clinicians access to a virtual grand round, where they can do all of the above on the go, remotely, using their smart phone. It enables doctors and nurses to share cases and clinical images in a secure, compliant network of verified medical professionals. It facilitates peer-to-peer learning, multi-disciplinary discussion and cases can even be shared privately with a supervisor and saved to a training portfolio to demonstrate learning outcomes.

The haemophilia MDT

In haemophilia care, a multi-disciplinary approach is crucial to achieve good patient outcomes, from specialist nurses to haematologists and physiotherapists. It is a disease which has considerable impact on quality of life and day-to-day activities, and as such management decisions need to be made holistically with input from the whole MDT. Traditional MDT meetings require team members to be physically present, generally take place weekly and often introduce delays into the patient journey while awaiting decisions.

There is therefore an obvious role for digital case discussion in supporting this approach. It provides a great way for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to collaborate and discuss complex cases with colleagues quickly and securely. It enables clinicians to access a kind of virtual MDT meeting, either as part of reflective learning and teaching, or to help guide management.

Several NHS trusts and hospital teams in the US are using private groups on MedShr to facilitate MDT case discussions, both for educational purposes and to obtain specialist advice.

Haemophilia care in developing countries

Haemophilia is expensive to treat and can present a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge in developing countries due to lack of resources, restricted access to latest treatments, a limited healthcare infrastructure and paucity of postgraduate medical education. In contrast to the highly specialised multidisciplinary team structure in nations with developed economies, patients in disadvantaged countries may not have access to the same comprehensive care system.

Digital case discussion can connect health workers in these developing countries with Haemophilia specialists across the globe, providing education and training as well as access to essential clinical advice for treatment guidance.

With a global network of medical professionals, MedShr has been used effectively by doctors in refugee camps and other crisis zones as a tool for clinical support and specialist input in an environment where training and resources are scarce.

Haemophilia nursing case discussion

MedShr has launched a Haemophilia Nursing case discussion group to connect specialist nurses globally and support peer-to-peer learning, reflective practice and sharing of expertise to improve patient care.

The case discussion focuses around management of challenging scenarios, best practice, novel therapies and complications of haemophilia.

You can check out the free group and join the discussion here:

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