Sunday , February 28 2021

How WhatsApp enabled medical staff to catch Croydon tram emergency victims

Social messaging apps played a key role in coordinating the efforts of medical staff who suffered from Croydon tram accidents.

Medics have approached communication channels to address emergencies such as the Croydon tram crash, Grenfell tower fire and terrorist attacks on London Bridge and Manchester Arena.

Dr. Kathryn Channing, Chief Adviser at the Croydon Health Services Emergency Department at NHS Trust, said: "Three kilometers before the Croydon tram crash, we used WhatsApp as a quick and effective way to ensure that we have enough staff for the 38 people who arrived in the hospital this year.

The immediate use of instant messaging applications makes them a decisive tool for addressing unexpected and rapidly changing events, allowing individual services to integrate responsive to rapidly changing circumstances.

New guidelines The NHS will help doctors, nurses and other employees safely use communication applications to coordinate patient care in emergencies.

Dr. Simon Eckles, Coordinator of Health and Care's Clinical Information, said: "Helping people in times of crisis, such as Grenfell cars, rapid response and instant messaging services can be an integral part of the NHS Toolkit.

"Healthcare workers are always responsible for using patient personal information, and these new guidelines will help our doctors and nurses to use the technology safely and efficiently under the most intense pressure."

Dr. Helgi Johannsson, who was involved in the review of the new NHS guidelines, said: "Fully encrypted instant messaging services can be a particularly useful tool for providing people with care in a major incident.

"From the Westminster attack we found out, it was important not to provide Emergency Relief Co-ordinators with help, so we used instant messaging with Grenfell to help coordinate which staff should be appointed, what was needed, and when planning a service that significantly improved on that day, the care we could provide.

"These sensible guidelines will protect our patients by providing better communication to NHS staff."

NHS has not approved any special chat tools; Instead, the guideline defines what information management issues should be taken into account and which standards must be respected.

The new guidelines were jointly published by NHS England, NHS Digital, Public Health, and Health and Social Care.

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