Mr Afsar Jafree is a leading Ophthalmologist in his field, and a key innovator within East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT).
He was the first to use WebEx for video conferencing within his day to day medical work, and his colleagues soon followed suit. This has been successfully used in meetings throughout the hospital, not to mention the invaluable training with other ophthalmology staff and medical students. WebEx provides secure web conferencing, with screen sharing capabilities, and cross device compatibility, which has been essential for the diverse NHS workforce.
Like many trusts, EKHUFT have embraced Attend Anywhere software for patient appointments. Mr Jafree has been explaining complex Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) retinal scans to patients over video call and has received many positive comments. He feels the ability to use video is so much better than a traditional, audio only, phone call.
Mr Jafree is also championing electronic patient records for ophthalmology. When it is launched in the coming months, this electronic record will bring together all hospital eye records, and also hold vital OCT images. The Kent Ophthalmology Record (KOR) will be for all participating trusts within the Kent & Medway area, high street optometrists, general practitioners, screening services and private providers across the county.
The county wide KOR is based on the open source software ‘OpenEyes’. This large project will provide connected care through technology to streamline referrals, image sharing and improve feedback. Using open source software designed from the ground up by clinicians themselves, makes an extremely cost-effective option, whilst ensuring the application development prioritises the clinician’s requirements.
By recording data in real-time, the KOR will undoubtedly improve patient safety and quality of care. The whole team working on this forward-thinking project, have been totally focussed on providing the best care for the patients of Kent and Medway and allowing the medical and admin workforces to become more time and cost-efficient, with the added benefit of no more paper records being needed.
Mr Jafree has plans for Community Imaging Hubs within local optometrists. With all the required information in the OCT scans, hospital staff can triage patients virtually and invite patients into the hospital only when necessary, without the need for unnecessary visits.
While this approach to Digital Hospital Eye Services was in discussion, it might not have been developed with such speed, had it not been for the Covid-19 crisis.
Well done to Afsar and the all the teams involved!