Remote working guide for healthcare organisations & professionals as further movement restrictions loom

4 min read

Here we offer useful technology and practical guidance to facilitate remote working, as the likelihood of further movement restrictions increases.


Despite the unprecedented adjustments to healthcare planning and operations, it is possible to stay connected to your staff, your patients, your colleagues, and your business.

The comprehensive technology guide for healthcare organisations and professionals includes lists of the many free tools available, along with other tools that require a minimal financial investment.

Microsoft Office 365

For a modest monthly fee, Office 365 enables access to Word, Excel, Outlook on your PC /Laptop/iPad, all synchronised against that personal account. Equally, if you require Office 365 for a number of people in your organisation, your IT supplier should be able to assist you in installing it.

Remote access and your IT infrastructure

  • A well-thought-through approach will make changing to remote working a smoother process.
  • Ensure that you have up-to-date out-of-office contact details for all staff, and establish whether they can work from home (do they have broadband and/or a computer and/or a room to work in?).
  • The IT supplier who looks after the computer network or specialist software should be the first port of call. Emphasise that access must be as secure as possible to include a robust VPN and/or two-factor authentication for remote users.
    Remote working should be tried as soon as possible for as many staff members as possible.
  • It is proving very difficult to acquire laptops. Therefore, enquire of suppliers if they can guarantee delivery of laptops and, if not, whether their proposed solution can be implemented safely and securely using staff’s own devices.
  • If you do not have an IT supplier who looks after these matters, or your IT supplier does not have capacity to address your needs at this point in time, consider subscribing to one of the secure remote access services which allows control of a PC in the office remotely.
  • Companies which provide these services include Logmein Pro, Gotomypc Pro, Teamviewer and Splashtop. MS Office 365 online, mentioned above, allows you to have Word, Excel, Outlook on your PC, laptop, iPad, synchronised against a personal account.

Teleconferencing and videoconferencing

Teleconferencing and videoconferencing is a valuable tool for communicating with staff and patients.

At a minimum, teleconferencing facilities should be set up and tested initially with staff.

Feedback from healthcare professionals indicates that video-conferencing facilities are preferred and can be accessed via smartphones.

There are many guidelines, even books, on the subject of meetings. Planning and good manners are even more important in online meetings and patient consultations.

T-Pro provides a Telehealth solution which allows healthcare organisations to put on virtual clinics that allow doctors to treat patients online through their smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.

Digital dictation and speech recognition

Healthcare organisations who rely on in-house transcription of dictation will need to ensure that their digital dictation systems function for remote workers.

With T-Pro Dictate, a cloud-based SaaS licensing option for T-Pro’s industry-leading digital dictation, documentation and speech recognition workflow management solutions, healthcare organisations can enable staff to work remotely - while at their desk or on the move. T-Pro is accessible across all clinical workflows, care settings, devices and apps.

If you need to buy additional hardware such as foot-pedals or headsets (from the leading vendors including Philips or Grundig), then do not delay in ordering same by clicking here.

Remote transcription / outsourcing dictation

With T-Pro’s fully encrypted workflow platform, digital dictations can either be allocated to your medical secretary or outsourced to T-Pro for typing.

T-Pro offers a secure and experienced workforce of medical transcriptionists – one that can scale and adapt to the growing needs of your organisation. Integrated quality assurance tools ensure transcribed documents are returned quickly while maintaining industry-leading document quality.


If your business continuity plans will affect how patients and colleagues can contact you, it is vitally important to let them know through the following means.

  • Website: You should consider putting a note on your website as to how your hospital/practice will be functioning during the public health crisis and how you can or should be contacted.
  • Email footers/disclaimers: These can be a useful place to put information as to how your hospital/practice will operate during the pandemic crisis.
  • Telephones: Most modern telephone systems allow calls to be redirected to another telephone number, such as a doctor’s mobile phone. You should make enquiries of your telephone system supplier in this regard. VOIP systems provide the most flexibility but ISDN also has significant features. Beyond that your phone line supplier may be able to provide the service for you externally. Again, it may be difficult to get your supplier to do this immediately as many suppliers are currently under severe pressure.
  • Alternatively and additionally, your telephone system may also allow you to set up a telephone message for unanswered calls.
  • This can be used to provide details of alternative phone numbers and to provide other useful information. Telephone line suppliers also generally provide business customers with a hosted conference call facility which will not require you to make any changes to your office phone system.
  • Post / scanning: You might also consider redirecting your post to an alternative address. You might further consider buying a desktop scanner to allow you to scan or post other documentation at home and email it on to other practitioners. Fortunately, T-Pro Dictate, provides healthcare organisations with the ability to send clinical patient information from hospitals to GPs electronically.


General advice and security

  • General: You need to be realistic about what can be achieved with technology given your existing capabilities and skills. Plan home offices anticipating restriction on movement including bringing of physical files or paperwork home.
  • Fraud / phishing: Attempts are unfortunately on the increase. I draw your attention to useful resources in the HSE and NHS website's Cyber-security section.
    Physical security: Even if working from home, PCs and laptops still need to have two step password protection – involving both a password and a pin number sent to a mobile phone.
    Email: To avoid data breaches, extra security precautions need to be taken in relation to the content of emails. Where possible, healthcare professionals should use a secure clinical email service, such as Healthmail or NHSmail that allows them to send and receive clinical patient information in a secure manner.
  • Online file sharing: Online file-sharing services may not be secure enough for sensitive and confidential communications. All large files or data sets should be sent using applications that provide a number of security features, including:
    • Encryption,
    • Link-expiry settings,
    • Number of allowed downloads, and
    • Password protection.
  • Local administration access: Users should be required to use IT assistance to install new software on their devices. This is necessary, as it prevents unauthorised or malicious software being installed on computers and will stop any potential malware from running with administrator rights. If you are the IT administrator for your healthcare organisation, you should remind your co-workers of this requirement.



Healthcare organisations need to satisfy themselves on their GDPR obligations in the use of all products, in the normal manner.

T-Pro supports compliance efforts related to a broad set of international and industry-specific requirements governing the collection and use of individuals’ data, including GDPR.

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