We have been helping the Integrated Primary Care Commissioning (IPCC) group in Sutton & Merton implement and evaluate a telehealth pilot.
The IPCC wanted to investigate whether telehealth – the use of equipment that allows individuals to monitor their vital signs at home with remote support from clinicians – could help patients and their GPs monitor long-term conditions more effectively.
With its technology partner Tunstall, PA helped to design, run and evaluate an initial phase involving about 50 patients. The evaluation is informing IPCC’s decisions about wider deployment of telehealth in the area.
PA has also supported the development and adoption of a practice-led approach to telehealth: GPs select and refer appropriate patients to be supplied with telehealth equipment, and then practice staff carry out clinical triage and technical management .
The collection of clearly-presented clinical data over a sustained period has improved clinical decision making. GPs can monitor a patient’s condition from day to day, intervening promptly when a change necessitates it.
Risk management has become easier thanks to better understanding of an individual’s normal parameters. Most significantly, telehealth has driven a redesign of the whole approach to patients with long-term conditions, with the development of personalised management plans for each patient.