Blog

How Remote Patient Monitoring is Changing Post-Discharge Care

September 7, 2021
  •  
7
min read
Saurabh Shah
Operations Director

At VCare, we believe that connecting healthcare systems to create a joined-up service improves care delivery across the board. Remote patient monitoring is a ground-breaking development for post-discharge care, particularly as we continue to look for safe ways of caring for patients during Covid. We’ve designed the VCare Remote Patient Monitoring system to be used in different healthcare settings to improve a patient’s journey and help clinicians to offer the very best care - even from a distance.

In this article, we’ll discuss the features of VCare Remote Patient Monitoring and how they come together to impact post-discharge care for clinicians and patients.

Reimagining the hospital ward

The VCare Precision Monitoring system uses the Virtual Ward Model to facilitate cohesive and streamlined post-discharge care delivery.

The Virtual Ward Model

The Virtual Ward Model enables end to end referral, close monitoring of at-risk patients, and final discharge once clinicians are confident a patient is stable. Patient details, care plans and treatment records are accessible in one place, just as they would be in a physical ward - only in the Virtual Ward, everything is done remotely. 

The Virtual Ward can be accessed by all parties – MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team) clinicians, GPs, pharmacists, care coordinators and patients. A video call feature enables remote consultations to take place and enables proactive care in the case of a health deterioration. 

Post-discharge, the Virtual Ward allows for continued safe monitoring without the need for inpatient care. 

Let’s take a closer look at exactly how this reimagined way of post-discharge monitoring benefits hospitals, GPs, clinicians, and patients.

Clinicians have more control over the monitoring process

Clinicians have instant access to the necessary vital signs and observations to ensure that the patient is recovering well and remains stable post-discharge.

Total Patient context

At VCare, our aim is to provide total patient context. Just presenting vital signs is not enough as other elements of a patient’s health need to be understood. Our remote patient monitoring product therefore displays medicine adherence alongside vital and soft signs in a single place. Medication can manipulate various vital signs and it is therefore to important understand adherence when assessing a patient’s health. 

The ability to set parameters

The VCare's Remote Patient Monitoring system comes with pre-set parameters to identify abnormal readings. However, clinicians can override the parameters if the patient’s medical condition requires different tolerance levels.

Custom escalations

If the monitoring device senses that readings have gone outside the set parameters, it generates an escalation message that is sent to the team and to the patient. The escalation message can be customised for an individual patient or a whole group. The patient must acknowledge that they have received the alert along with instructions on what to do next.

Monitoring population groups

Data can be filtered by area, demographic or medical condition to show key information and trends, so clinicians can view entire patient groups to see patterns in recovery or deterioration.

Greater GP involvement in acute care

Whereas GPs have traditionally had to wait for discharge letters for clinical updates on their patients receiving acute care, they can now be part of the conversation. The GP can access patients’ observations remotely and identify signs of recovery or deterioration quickly. 

The Virtual Ward Model also allows for easier communication between GPs and hospital specialists. The VCare portal can be used for direct handovers, and as a central place for discussions involving the patient.

Access to the entire clinical team also improves continuity of care for the patient and streamlines care delivery for all parties.

Improved patient experience

Understandably, most patients would choose to spend as little time in hospital as possible. Remote monitoring allows patients to return home sooner, with the reassurance of knowing that they remain under the watchful eye of their medical team from afar. Less time in hospital also reduces the chance of hospital-acquired infection.

Patient comfort

The VCare Precision Monitoring wearable device is designed to be comfortable for the patient to wear. It’s small and light, at only 60g, and can be worn during sleep. The device straps to the upper arm and is easy to keep clean with antiseptic wipes. It allows for free movement, unlike inpatient monitoring, which can often be restrictive and uncomfortable.

Patients have access to their data

The VCare Precision Monitoring wearable pairs with an app that the patient can access via a smartphone or device. The app shows patients their stored data and a simple display of recordings, so they feel confident in joining in the conversation about their own care.

Reduced pressure on acute care

It is no longer always the answer for patients to remain on a hospital ward simply for monitoring. With remote monitoring, patients can be discharged home much sooner than possible, freeing up hospital beds and relieving pressure on bed management. A shorter hospital stay also reduces the overall cost of care, places fewer demands on staffing, and reduces the risk of hospital-acquired infection

How else can we use remote monitoring to improve the patient journey?

Remote patient monitoring can change the face of post-discharge care, but it can also be used to facilitate numerous other clinical situations.

  • Pre-admission: The GP and hospital team can both access pre-admission vital signs to assess for suitability for surgery and other interventions.
  • Management of chronic conditions: GPs can conduct ongoing monitoring of long term medical conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension.
  • Residents of care homes: Currently, clinical observations of care home residents are carried out by carers, district nurses or GPs, but the system is clunky and disjointed and important clinical changes can (and do) get missed. Remote monitoring of care home residents means that GPs and district nurses can monitor for changes and action any interventions without delays. VCare's Remote Patient Monitoring solution is being successfully used by hundreds of care homes, with residents receiving joined-up healthcare through the platform.

VCare Precision Monitoring is already changing care delivery for hospitals, GPs and care homes. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you streamline care delivery for your patients. 

Saurabh Shah
Operations Director
Saurabh founded VCare after seeing first-hand the issues that can occur through a lack of integration between healthcare systems

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