Safety for home care: the use of internet video calls to double-check interventions

J Telemed Telecare. 2012 Dec;18(8):434-7. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2012.gth102. Epub 2012 Dec 3.


We investigated the feasibility of using Internet video calls for a double check on medication or other complex interventions being administered in the home. Seven nurses were recruited to the study and received training on using laptop and tablet computers with mobile Internet connections. The devices were taken on scheduled home visits to patient homes and video calls with a second clinician were conducted to double-check various items associated with the clinical care of the patient. Over a 14-month period, 88 video calls were conducted during which a total of 600 checks were completed. The items checked included medication names, doses, segmentations on syringes and details of ventilator settings. The quality of the video call was acceptable on 97% of occasions. On three occasions (3%) it was not possible to establish a connection and the double check was not achieved. On every occasion that the video call was successful (n = 85), nurses were 100% confident that they were able to carry out the full requirements of a double check. The use of Internet video calls is feasible for double-checking and has the potential to improve patient safety and reduce costs.

MeSH terms

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Home Care Services* / standards
  • Humans
  • Medication Errors / economics
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Ventilation / economics
  • Videoconferencing / statistics & numerical data*