COVID patients supported with virtual care and remote home monitoring
Hamilton, ON – Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH), St. Joseph’s Home Care and Hamilton Paramedic Service have been working collaboratively under the umbrella of Connected Health Hamilton – initiated through the Hamilton Health Team — to identify and meet the immediate needs of the city’s COVID patients. Through this partnership, provincial funding through Ontario Health was obtained to provide remote patient monitoring to COVID patients recovering at home. Remote patient monitoring has been available to COVID patients since late November.
“This is an excellent example of community healthcare organizations working collaboratively to create innovative solutions for providing COVID patients with the very best care,” says Dr. Ted Scott, vice president of research and chief innovation officer for HHS. Scott is also executive lead for this program. “With the arrival of the second wave of COVID, these organizations moved very quickly to bring virtual care to patients, so they would be supported to recover at home with remote patient monitoring technologies.”
Patients receive a health kit that includes a tablet computer and data plan, blood pressure monitor, oximeter and digital thermometer. They record their vital signs daily from the comfort of their own homes, which are sent instantly to a nurse at the hospital’s virtual command centre. Nurses use their technology partner’s CloudDX platform to virtually interact with patients. They can escalate care to a physician if needed, who can have a virtual visit with the patient. If the patient needs to return to hospital, the virtual team can contact paramedics.
“Virtual care and remote home monitoring are game changers when it comes to how we care for patients,” says Dr. Mohamed Panju, site chief for HHS Hamilton General Hospital, where one of the COVID units is located. “Remote home monitoring creates a safety net for patients recovering at home and it helps prevent return trips to the emergency department since the virtual care team can help with health concerns that might arise.”
The software technology being used for HHS patients is user friendly and the feedback so far from patients, nurses and physicians has been positive. The program also helps free up hospital beds, since patients are being monitored from home instead of in hospital.
For more information, please visit https://www.hamiltonhealthsciences.ca/share/remotemonitoring/.
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For more information, please contact:
Public Relations Specialist
Hamilton Health Sciences