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COVID Oximetry @home & Virtual Wards

1st April 2021

Remote monitoring services to improve patient care during COVID-19.

Since November 2020, Medvivo has been working with stakeholders across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) to implement remote monitoring services.

Medvivo’s Chief Operating Officer, Michelle Reader explains, “Being able to set up valuable services quickly and efficiently to improve patient care needs everyone to work together. Without the support from our colleagues in commissioning, primary care, secondary care and community services, we could not have achieved this.”

COVID @home

The COVID Oximetry @home service helps to recognise early signs of deterioration in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Being able to detect reduced blood oxygen levels is vital in being able to identify a decline in the patient’s condition that might require hospital admission.

During the patient’s onboarding process, they are given a pulse oximeter and diary to self-monitor their condition at home. Readings are submitted online or by telephone or text, and these are reviewed by a team of senior clinicians.

Should a patient’s condition change, the clinicians follow up immediately with a telephone call and/or a video consultation for a face-to-face discussion to ensure urgent medical attention is arranged if required.

COVID Virtual Wards

The COVID virtual ward helps enable patients in hospital with COVID-related illness return home safely as soon as possible. Medvivo has been supporting this service since mid-January in a similar way to the COVID @home service whereby patients are monitored at home with a pulse oximeter and a team of clinicians.

Following close collaboration with the BSW Clinical Commissioning Group, the Great Western Hospitals, Royal United Hospitals Bath and Salisbury NHS Foundation Trusts, and community service providers both services have been implemented at a fast pace following publication of national guidance from NHS England.

In this area, as of last month, over 1,500 patients had been onboarded into the COVID Oximetry @home service and over 100 patients on COVID virtual ward service.

Victoria McMahon is Medvivo’s Clinical Lead for the COVID monitoring services. As an Advanced Clinical Practitioner (paramedic background), she is acutely aware of needing a “can do” attitude when it comes to great teamwork: “Not only have we had great team support externally to get these services up and running, you could not ask for more from the internal teams supporting the patients coming into our care.

From the administration team who closely reviews every single case that comes in, the logistics team who manages the distribution of pulse oximeters, and the clinical team who carries out reviews and assessments up to four times a day for each patient. We have had some truly touching feedback, and that makes everything even more worthwhile.”

Patient Feedback

“Thank you so much for keeping me out of hospital. You provided an amazing service and I am so grateful that you’re were there for me.” “I thought it was just going to be a 'call centre' but you were really supportive and there for me. I can only sing its praises.”

“Excellent service. So impressed with the support I have had and my family too. I’ve loved having someone to speak to daily, I knew someone was there if I need them.”

“I feel like I’ve received the BEST BEST BEST care EVER from the service. I am grateful of the service so I could ‘escape’ from hospital and be looked after this way from the comfort of my own home.”

“It was really nice to have people checking up on me. Everyone was really lovely. No one was mechanical. All caring.”

Adopting a collaborative system-wide approach to setting up and managing these services has been key. Having an open, shared platform for learning and development provides us all with a great model for future development of services to continue to improve patient care.

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