The COVID Oximetry at Home Programme (virtual ward)

COVID Oximetry at Home is an enhanced package of care using pulse oximetry to detect early deterioration of individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

What is COVID Oximetry at Home?

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.

How does COVID Oximetry at Home work?

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.

Virtual Ward with Pulse Oximetry Webinar – Matt Inada-Kim

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.

Learn more about COVID Oximetry at Home

Key contacts for Eastern AHSN

Caroline Angel Eastern AHSN Director of Patient Safety
Caroline Angel - Director of Patient Safety

Email Caroline at [email protected].

Katrina Wilson Eastern AHSN
Katrina Wilson - Programme Lead

Email Katrina at [email protected].

Tania Holland - Programme Lead

Email Tania at [email protected].

Share your idea

Do you have a great idea that could make a positive health impact?

Get involved

Newsletter