One of the UK’s best-known hospices leverages video to reduce travel by 60%, improve communication between caregivers, and reallocate critical resources to those in need
In the life of a child with an incurable illness, hospice facilities often become a home away from home. At well-known regional UK charity Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW), palliative, respite, end of life and bereavement care is delivered through friendship and support, as well as practical help, to life limited children and their families. However, with the time and expense of travel impacting the amount of care the quickly growing organization could deliver, CHSW turned to HD video communications systems from Lifesize Communications to enable remote collaboration between caregivers.
“We chose Lifesize because of its quality, ease of use, cost and bandwidth utilization but, as a people-oriented organization, what really told us we’d made the right decision was how quickly our staff caught on to this technology,” said Steve Benson, IT Coordinator for CHSW. “Video conferencing is not a total replacement for face to face meetings, but the picture and voice quality is so natural that this technology is an excellent solution for organizations with dispersed locations. And the benefits are clear – we expect a 60 percent reduction in travel in the first year of utilization and we should recoup our implementation costs in less than 18 months.”
With 160 staff members and two hospices being able to provide care for up to 400 children diagnosed with life threatening illnesses in the South West England region, CHSW has accelerated plans for a much-needed third hospice facility, which plans to open its doors in 2011. To keep the project on track, senior managers were spending more time and effort traveling between locations. An analysis of one senior manager’s travel over a three month period revealed that 17 hours per week were spent in the car, driving to and from locations. As an organization, annual travel costs were estimated to be in excess of £50,000and up to 60 percent of most working days were wasted on travel for members of senior staff.
To help reduce travel expenses while fostering immersive, face-to-face communication, CHSW deployed Lifesize® Express™ and Lifesize® Team MP™ systems at each facility. Since integrating the Lifesize systems, the organization has utilized video to conduct weekly, monthly and ad hoc departmental meetings for teams like fundraising, community groups, care policies and clinical care governance. This has produced not only a lasting benefit in the reduction of travel expenses, but has also enabled many Care Team members to devote a larger portion of their day to caring for the families. The Lifesize HD video experience has proven so engaging that, in the future, CHSW plans to bring the Lifesize systems into the common areas so family members and children will have the opportunity to share experiences, build relationships and play games with one another over HD video.
“Children’s Hospice South West is the only organization to provide hospice care for life limited children in the South West England region, making its mission even more critical and increasing the need to make the most out of every donation,” said Colin Buechler, senior vice president of Marketing at Lifesize Communications. “The ability of Lifesize HD video to enable smarter, more cost-effective communications is substantial, but the intangible effects that come when video brings people closer together are truly immeasurable.”