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Remote health monitoring in care homes benefits patients

An innovative way of monitoring the health of residents in care homes which was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, is continuing to benefit people across North Central London.

During the pandemic, it was important to reduce the risks of outbreaks of COVID-19 among vulnerable residents so, as well as restricting family visits, care homes were keen to limit other visitors. A technological solution was introduced, enabling clinicians to monitor patients’ health remotely. Care home staff take patient observations which are automatically uploaded to a portal that clinicians can access.

The NEWS2 tool is a scoring system in which a score is allocated to physiological measurements, already recorded in routine practice, when patients present to, or are being monitored in hospital. Find out more about the NEWS2 tool on the Royal College of Physicians website.

Dr Shani Gray, NCL Clinical Lead for Remote Monitoring in Care Homes said: “This is a great example of integrated working across the system involving local authorities, care homes and the North Central London training hub. Over 4000 residents have taken part, 48,000 NEWS2 scores have been recorded, and this way of working is now established in 127 care settings across our five boroughs.”

Care homes with remote monitoring have a lower rate of ambulance call-outs, and the costs of non-elective admissions from these care homes are also lower. This is thought to be due to any deterioration in residents’ health being recognised earlier, leading to less complex admissions. Remote monitoring also supports earlier discharge from hospital as patients can be managed more effectively in the community.

The programme won the Digital System and Process Development Award in the HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2022 and the Digital Health Award in the Burdett Nursing Awards 2023.

To find out more, please contact the Clinical Lead, Shani Gray:

A new podcast has been produced about the benefits of advances in digital technology in North Central London care homes. Find out more here.