Effective coordination between primary and secondary care to set up and deliver remote home monitoring models can help patients and reduce demand on hospital services during the pandemic, according to an international study that included Australia.
The study looked at COVID-19 remote monitoring models led by primary and secondary care across seven countries – United States, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Ireland, China and the UK – where models have been developed to: avoid unnecessary hospital admissions (providing appropriate care in the appropriate place); escalate cases of deterioration at an earlier stage to avoid invasive ventilation and ICU admission; and facilitate early discharge from hospital so patients can be followed up safely in the community.
Using digital apps to monitor patients’ blood oxygen levels allowed a higher number of patients to be followed up compared to paper-only models.
Dr Manbinder Sidhu from the University of Birmingham (BRACE team) and a co-author of the study said, “Our review shows that primary care can play a central role in the coordination of remote patient monitoring models, providing more holistic care for patients and reducing the demand on hospital services. Yet, further research needs to explore the processes used to implement these models and how these might vary based on the healthcare sector, patient population, size, and approaches used for triage, monitoring and escalation.”
Remote home monitoring (virtual wards) for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients: a rapid systematic review, was published by the Lancet in EClinicalMedicine.