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How to enable self-isolating medical students to consult from home | Microsoft Teams AccuRx EMIS

Empowering Remote Consultations for Medical Students: A Practical Guide

Today, I'm excited to introduce you to ways in which you can support your medical students in conducting remote consultations from home.

The Medical Schools Council provides guidance on students attending remote consultations, focusing on four crucial aspects: consent, confidentiality, supervision, and awareness of diverse patient needs.

Let's explore some straightforward technology setups using Microsoft Teams and Accurix (or Microsoft Teams paired with a telephone consultation) to enable supervised remote consultations for your students. It's essential to note that students won't have access to patient notes outside the practice, necessitating vigilance from the supervising clinician.

Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Setting Up Microsoft Teams:

  • Ensure Microsoft Teams is installed on all NHS computers. If not, locate and install it using the search bar.

  • Log in using your NHS email account and password.

  1. Adding Students to Practice:

  • Use the 'Add Member' feature in Teams to include the medical student using their university email.

  • If encountering issues, consult your IT department for support.

  1. Initiating Consultations:

  • Initiate a chat with the student and the patient, ensuring prior consent.

  • Share consultation details securely through Teams, enabling a three-way consultation link.

  1. Supervised Consultation:

  • Facilitate the connection between the student and the patient while maintaining the ability to listen and supervise the consultation.

  1. Alternative: Telephone Consultation:

  • In cases where the patient lacks video capabilities, share the patient's phone number with the student.

  • Ensure the student turns off caller ID for patient privacy and security.

This simple approach allows for remote consultations while ensuring proper supervision and adherence to ethical guidelines.

Important points from this guidance to note include:

1. Consent.

Patients must consent to see a student being present during a consultation in the same way they are asked if they are happy for a student to be involved in their care in face to face settings. Patient’s need to have time to consider if they want to consent to remote consultations with students so that they are not under any undue pressure.

Patients can be informed about students being associated with the Practice via your Practice website, on recorded messages when phoning the practice and when booking appointments with the Practice team. Appointment details sent out electronically could also contain a short message stating that students may be present but that patient consent will be sought before they join any consultation.

Patient consent can be gained verbally and be recorded in the notes.

2. Confidentiality

Students should be confident in the principles of data protection and must ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times

3. Supervision

All students should be supervised on remote consultations to the same standard that would be expected if they were physically present at a clinical placement. Some students in the later years of the course may have the opportunity to lead remote consultations. This should always be done under appropriate supervision with the supervisor on hand to join the call if the student feels that they require additional support

4. Awareness of the needs of different patient groups

Please note that intimate clinical history and examination are not appropriate for remote teaching

I hope this guide proves helpful! Subscribe for future updates, and don't hesitate to reach out via email for further assistance.

Wishing you all the best in supporting your medical students in remote consultations!

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