Improving care in care homes is a concern for both NHS and local authorities. The Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) programme is a part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
EHCH demands the nomination of GPs to care homes, to help improve responsiveness and care. Optimising care in care homes is an important element in transforming out of hospital care.
DOC@HOME® can be configured specifically for care homes and their ways of working, and is aligned with the demands of EHCH. The monitoring of all residents enables clinicians to develop a baseline for every resident’s normal condition. Where residents do not have a need for frequent monitoring, observations are taken monthly or fortnightly. These observations enable clinicians to make better informed decisions and reduce demands on their time.
Observations can be shared immediately with nominated practices, for example, where a carer notices that a resident appears unwell. The system helps GPs to determine the course of action to take, as they are able to access information for all residents. Processes are established to bring such ad hoc observations to the attention of the practice (DOC@HOME automatically sends an email to notify the practice). Carers appreciate the process as they no longer have to stay on the phone for long periods trying to get through to the practice. For the GPs it means that they can make an informed decision without necessarily having to visit the care home.
In the London Borough of Bexley trialling over nine months demonstrated that the technology enabled the GP to save two hours per week in unnecessary visits, working with one care home.
From a quality perspective it adds value to the residential care home offering, and provides assurance to prospective customers and their families.