The COVID Oximetry at Home programme (sometimes called a virtual ward) describes an enhanced package of care for individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who are at risk for future deterioration, including both patients living in their own homes and residents of care homes. The AHSN Network is supporting the uptake of this package through the Patient Safety Collaboratives in each region.
COVID Oximetry at Home is designed to support patients in primary and community health settings and can also be used for patients who are at an early stage of the disease and sent home from A&E or discharged following short hospital admissions.
The package of care involves the remote monitoring of the individual’s condition through providing regular contact with a local health care team who will reassess their symptoms (including oxygen saturation levels). This close monitoring enables the individual to remain at their usual place of residence whilst allowing early signs of deterioration to be identified and escalated quickly and appropriately.
Patients most at risk of poor outcomes are best identified by oxygen levels. The use of oximetry to monitor and identify silent hypoxia and rapid patient deterioration at home is recommended for this group. This is because a hallmark of COVID-19 illness has been the late and sometimes unsalvageable presentation of patients to hospitals, often with very low oxygen saturation without accompanying severe symptoms of breathlessness. Silent hypoxia can only be picked up if oxygen saturation levels are checked.
Covid Oximetry at Home involves the remote monitoring of the individual’s condition through providing regular contact with a local health care team who will reassess the individuals symptoms (including oxygen saturation levels). This close monitoring enables the individual to remain at their usual place of residence whilst allowing early signs of deterioration to be identified and escalated quickly and has been piloted and evaluated in eight pilot site across England with local adoption across the East of England being planned as we speak.
This presentation from Dr Matt Inada-Kim, who is a consultant at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and National Clinical Lead for Deterioration/Sepsis, outlines how virtual wards with pulse oximetry could spot early deterioration in patients with Covid-19.
In this webinar, held on 9 February 2021, you will hear about how the NHS is supporting the use of remote monitoring of residents using pulse oximetry, how this works in care homes, and the range of support and learning materials on offer.
Organised by the AHSN Network with NHS England and NHS Improvement, the session also covers how Patient Safety Collaboratives (hosted by AHSNs) are working with care homes and others to implement these COVID Oximetry @home and COVID virtual ward programmes.
The webinar will be of interest to registered managers and care workers in care homes, Primary Care Network clinical leads, and staff supporting remote monitoring.
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