Patients at the Clinique Pasteur can now consult a health professional from home via Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Duo, Messenger or Hangouts, a real boon for those requiring regular follow-up care from the clinic's medical teams. The service has been set up by SQLI consultants at this Toulouse clinic which is a pioneer in the digitisation of resources.
Real remote medical consultation
Patients who require follow-up care after a stay in the Clinique Pasteur, or who suffer from a chronic illness, need to meet health professionals on a regular basis. They now no longer need to travel to attend appointments; they can have a consultation from home by logging into their personal account via the device or communication channel of their choice (Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Duo, Messenger or Hangouts).
The service was designed to facilitate the delivery of long-term care for patients who require regular appointments.The user experience is designed to be as close as possible to a physical medical consultation, with an appointment, a virtual waiting room where the patient informs the doctor that they are ready, and a virtual consultation room to which the doctor admits the patient when they have finished their previous appointment.
The solution was designed to ensure that users can make appointments without any need for training. When the consultation has finished, the patient can pay online. Once this payment has been made, and the doctor has given final approval, the prescription is issued.Medical staff (primary care doctors and administrative staff) also have an account with specific tools and functionalities. For example, a doctor can phone patients if they do not respond to messages telling them that their appointment is about to start. However, the patient cannot phone the doctor via the application so as to avoid disturbance during other appointments. The doctor can also choose whether or not to admit the patient, and whether or not to issue a prescription, and he or she controls the whole appointment.
A tailor-made tool that meets the specific requirements of the healthcare sector
The microservice, which is integrated into Clinique Pasteur's online patient area, was designed and developed by SQLI's teams in collaboration with the clinic's operational team. Special emphasis was placed on the security of patient data, as required by law. So the online tool is accessible via a protected URL with access controlled by the Clinique Pasteur.
The SQLI consultants firstly sought the views of a panel of users to enable them to create a tool that meets all requirements. In their feedback, many doctors requested the possibility of allowing medical secretaries to make appointments instead of patients. This functionality required interoperability between the teleconsultation tool and the software which Clinique Pasteur uses for making physical appointments: Gemini.
The team firstly created a testable and scalable prototype, which they then developed using feedback from the different teams until they arrived at the final solution. Ultimately, the project takes the form of a responsive web app created in an innovative development, with API calls. It also involves the WebSocket, a virtual communication tunnel which synchronises the patient's and the doctor's browsers during the consultation. So the doctor is instantly informed about what the patient is doing.
A service which had proved a hit with its users
Clinique Pasteur, which regularly calls on SQLI to create and develop its microservices, was delighted with the efficient support it received. It took the consultants less than four months to come up with a first fully operational version.
Christel CALAS, Clinique Pasteur's IT Manager, explains: "We're building our digital patient space brick by brick and teleconsultation is an important element in a range of services that we provide for our patients. This brick is an important step in patient care, particularly for those with chronic conditions who need to speak to their Clinique Pasteur doctor on a regular basis. SQLI has helped us to develop this tool which is fully integrated into our complex IT infrastructure."
The service has gradually been rolled out to patients since September 2019. It has proved essential during lockdown, with 1,000 teleconsultations being carried out by around 40 healthcare professionals.