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CASE STUDY

Local Care Direct and Docobo work together to provide a Pulse Oximetry patient monitoring service for COVID patients.

Local Care Direct and Docobo work together to provide a Pulse Oximetry patient monitoring service for COVID patients, keeping patients out of hospital and safe at home.

Introduction

As part of the COVID Oximetry @home programme (led by NHS England Improvement), Local Care Direct (LCD) have been running a pulse oximetry patient monitoring service for COVID patients using Docobo’s remote patient monitoring solution since January 2021, which has received fantastic feedback from patients and users.

Background

LCD is a Social Enterprise that serves more than two million patients across West and North Yorkshire. Operating from 17 centres, it supports 350 practices and has more than 625,000 patient contacts per year. In December 2021 LCD won a bid for a pulse oximetry patient monitoring service for COVID patients in the area and had to roll it out at very short notice. They worked with Docobo, who supply patient monitoring solutions, to roll the solution out across the area and have been successfully monitoring patients ever since, keeping COVID patients out of hospital and reassured and supported.

Mark Hobson is Associate Director of Clinical Governance at LCD and headed up the programme and explains: ‘We’ve had some amazing feedback from our patients, and we are now supporting a variety of worried Covid patients within the service, freeing up GP appointments for other patients.”

How does the remote monitoring service at LCD work?

An LCD team, made up of clinical and non-clinical colleagues work with patients who are referred onto the service to monitor their blood oxygen levels. By using a pulse oximeter, patients can capture their daily observations and oxygen saturation through:
• Docobo App – on their phone or device
• Docobo Web – on their PC or home computer
• Text message
• A telephone call

The clinicians then review the patient’s readings and organise any additional support if necessary.

Patient feedback has been extremely positive, one patient said: ‘Who ever thought of having online patients for observations needs a gold star. An excellent idea which saves time, money and resources, it is also extremely reassuring.’

Another patient said: ‘An excellent service of which I wasn’t aware of until contacted and informed – due to my age – I was eligible for the service, which was both informative, professional and reassuring. Thank you very much for your efforts in trying to keep me and everyone else healthy.’

 

How was the project set up?

The set-up had to happen very quickly, as the timeframe from bid to tender was extremely tight.

Mark Hobson explains: ‘The Docobo team worked very closely with us to get the software ready and everything up and running. We had to get this done and rolled out quickly to two CCGs initially and have since expanded.’

The initial phase of the project started in January 2021 and ran until March 2021. LCD then received approval to continue from March to October 2021. The team has since taken on the COVID Virtual Ward hospital discharge work, enabling patients to leave hospital earlier than they would have done normally, and being monitored at home – thus freeing up beds for other patients.

Mark says: ‘It really is taking off the pressure from the front-end NHS – and we are really seeing the benefits for patients and clinicians. It’s allowed us to take pressure off GP practices, as these patients who are being monitored might normally be at home worrying and phoning their GPs. This service has removed all this – the patients phone us solely if they need reassurance. Docobo is the backbone of this service. We are so pleased with the solution and delighted that the service has been shortlisted in a Social Enterprise Award.’

Excellent patient feedback
In a survey of 367 patients:

felt reassured having access to the service

were pleased with the quality of the service

said they would recommend the service

I felt reassured having this service and being constantly supported throughout both mine and my husband’s struggle with COVID and would like to thank you all."

Patient

When asked which services they would have accessed if they had not been remotely monitored:

26 patients said they would have accessed A&E
60 patients said they would have accessed their GP

If you want to find out  more about the project, please contact Local Care Direct.