Care homes across the UK have been trying to do everything they can to shield their residents during COVID-19, but the one thing they can’t afford to do is to compromise access to healthcare professionals and timely clinical intervention.
NHS England and NHS Improvement’s new guidance calling for immediate steps to implement a clinical service model for remote care home support during the pandemic is key to continuing to safeguard patients. However, with only two weeks to implement a solution, care homes are arguably under even more pressure. And whilst video consultations are a step forward and can help support social distancing, more proactive care is required.
Digital, remote monitoring healthcare technology, such as Spirit Digital’s CliniTouch Vie, is a proven and easy to implement platform that allows care home residents to be appropriately assessed on a regular basis. Assessments are done by Care Home carers taking patients’ vital signs readings and answering simple, straightforward questions side by side with the resident. CliniTouch Vie then uses sophisticated algorithms to give a risk assessment to the remote GP practice teams.
Extending the concept of the care home to one akin to a ‘virtual ward’, GPs get clinical information on their patients quicker and faster which allows them to rapidly assess a patient, and respond at the outset of symptoms and before deterioration progresses. Moreover, having immediate access to a dashboard of live clinical data on a group of patients enables rapid identification and triage of those individuals most at risk. Armed with this key heath data, GPs and nursing teams can then chose whether to visit or video conference.
This proactive model of care allows for early intervention that helps keep people out of hospital, increases health system capacity and reduces the risk of cross contamination at a time when our collective focus is on protecting our vulnerable and our NHS.