Red Cross Childrens Hospital


  • • Safely perform complex cardiac interventional procedures
  • • Share experience globally via live video
  • • Student doctors in remote areas given access to learning
  • • Greater care for patients and community
  • • Limiting travel costs and making doctors more available to patients regionally

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Red Cross Children’s Hospital uses Polycom video solutions to educate pediatric cardiologists and reduce patient waiting lists

The Red Cross Children’s Hospital receives around 260,000 patient visits each year, the majority of which are from exceptionally poor and marginalized communities. One third of the patients are younger than a year old. This extraordinary place of healing advocates that no child will be turned away.

The hospital faced a growing need for cardiac procedures in young patients, but had limited resources and access to highly experienced pediatric cardiologists. In an effort to broaden their ability to serve patients and to expand their local physician’s education, the hospital chose to implement video collaboration solutions in their pediatric interventional cardiac catheterization lab.

The hospital chose Polycom collaboration infrastructure, including Polycom® RealPresence® Web Suite and Polycom® RealPresence® Media Suite to allow local pediatric cardiologists to learn from highly experienced cardiologists around the world during recent CATHCHAT sessions. Their collaboration efforts are supported by Polycom partner, Kathea, South Africa’s most established and respected visual collaboration specialist.

The video collaboration technology lets local and remote physicians around the globe, share and receive advice, ask questions, and post comments during catheterizationprocedures. Face-to-face video interaction enables them to reduce travel costs for physician education and to treat more patients than they would be able to otherwise. Patients receive life-saving procedures without the need for open heart surgery.

As a result of implementing Polycom solutions, there was an open channel of learning where physicians interacted with their peers and patients had access to advanced cardiac treatment. The successful sessions are expected to result in permanent installation of the Polycom solutions to enable the hospital’s changing way and approach when teaching and learning in the CATH lab.

Polycom’s solutions accomplish the following objectives for Red Cross Children’s Hospital:

• Perform complex cardiac interventional catheterization procedures safely on selected patients.

• Be guided through the procedure in real-time, with face-to-face video by remote experts from around the globe.

• Learn from these procedures, and simultaneously disseminate these experiences to other interested parties live, and in real time.

• Increase the video collaboration capacity for daily use and share experiences with training doctors.

• Reduce patient waiting lists as a result of video support during procedures, enabling more complex procedures to take place sooner and often.

• Eliminate the travel costs of doctors.

The CATHCHAT weeks have been very successful. With Polycom and Kathea, the Red Cross Children’s Hospital is building its concept to secure a bigger and better future for the people of Western Cape.