Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) is expanding a successful remote monitoring service to help increase life expectancy and improve quality of life for patients diagnosed with heart failure. Lead heart failure nurse at the trust, Rhona Macpherson, spoke exclusively to Digital Health News about the impact of the services on patients and nurses and what the future holds.
At Norfolk Community Health and Care, it is using a remote monitoring service from Inhealthcare which allows patients to monitor their vital signs at home and relay readings via a choice of communication channels to clinicians who monitor trends and intervene if readings provide any cause for concern.
Analysis of the six months before and after introduction showed a significant reduction in hospital bed days, A&E attendances, GP visits and out-of-hours appointments.
For Macpherson, the service has helped promote self-management.
“We give each of the patients a set of scales, blood pressure monitor and pulse oximeter and we get them to do their observations,” she said.
“So we’re promoting self-management and looking at things but also it means that we can get accurate information on what’s happening with their observations.
“We then set parameters to alert if they go outside of the parameters, and it just means we can intervene much more quickly than we would do, and we can see what’s going on between our visits as well as what’s happening when we’re actually there.”
The trust launched the service in Norwich and, after resounding success, plans to expand it to South, West and North Norfolk with funding from the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS).
An evaluation of the expanded service will be evaluated, looking at quality of life, health improvement scores and hospital admissions among heart failure patients.
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