Remote monitoring for people living with heart failure to reduce A&E admissions

Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCHCT) identified the need to reduce A&E visits and bed days for patients with long-term conditions, in particular those with heart and lung disease.

Situation

NCHCT wanted to improve patients’ health outcomes by using technology.

Aspiration

Equip people with the tools and information they need to better manage their health while providing fast access to a heart failure nurse and consultant when needed, as well as enable clinicians to discharge patients from hospital sooner, with the confidence that their health is being monitored remotely.

Solution and impact

Working with Inhealthcare, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust introduced a bespoke heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remote monitoring service to measure patients' vital signs from home, including blood pressure, temperature, weight, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation.

Clinicians can track and monitor patient data to ensure that they remain within pre-set clinical parameters, or make timely interventions where needed. Patients can communicate their readings via automated phone call or a secure online portal which automatically integrates with clinical systems. This means that patients no longer need to make unnecessary clinic visits or have regular consultations with their doctor.

How it was implemented

The service equips people with the tools and information they need to better manage their health while providing fast access to a heart failure nurse and consultant when needed. As well as offering more patient-friendly care by cutting travel time and costs, the service enables clinicians to discharge patients from hospital sooner, with the confidence that their health is being monitored remotely.

Impact

Since the product’s introduction, Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust has reported a reduction in A&E admissions and bed days among a group of high-dependency patients.

Functionality

Patients remotely monitor their vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, weight, pulse rate and oxygen saturation. The readings are then submitted to clinicians via an online form or automated telephone service, depending on how confident users feel about using technology.

Capabilities

Digital platform that enables patients to submit their readings via an online submission or an automated telephone service. Clinicians then review the data to identify trends, monitor patients’ recovery remotely and decide whether a further intervention is needed.

Scope

At-home remote monitoring.

Key figures/quotes

Tony Robinson, 83, a retired transport driver with heart failure is one of many to benefit from the introduction of a new remote monitoring service: “It provides great peace of mind and lots of people say how well I seem. Some people might be afraid of trying out new technology, but I try to advise them how good it is”.

Tony receives an automated call every day at 11am, and gives readings for his weight, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and pulse. His wife Jan, 72, a retired auxiliary nurse, said: “It is very reassuring for me. If we have a problem, we are straight through to the heart failure nurse – and consultant if necessary – in a very short space of time. The problem is sorted out, usually through medication, and we don’t have to go back into hospital or see a GP. It saves a lot of waiting for doctors and cuts out a lot of anxiety.”

Find out more

Read more about remote monitoring on the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership website

You can read a case study on remote monitoring on the NHS Long Term Plan website

Learn more about Inhealthcare in Norfolk on their website here

Key contact

nwccg.contactus@nhs.net