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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 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 via Bluetooth to a portal which clinicians can access.

A team of nurse educators provide training to care home staff and there is a NEWS2 (National Early Warning Score 2) escalation pathway for each NCL borough.

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 4,000 residents have taken part, 48,000 NEW2 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 is 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.


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