Introduction In 2011 the Whole Systems Demonstrator programme findings showed that, if used correctly, Telehealth can deliver 14% reduction in bed days and an 8% reduction in tariff costs in patients with chronic conditions. However little data is available on using Telehealth to assist in the acute setting of early supported discharge of COPD patients as most previous studies focused on its use to assist the long term case management of these patients.
Methods After training of staff within the COPD early support discharge (ESD) team in Salford (CAST), 17 HomePods were made available for this 12 months pilot starting in 2013. Patients were selected based on their ability to use the technology and on availability of HomePods. Pods were left with patients for 30 days and provided remote real-time monitoring of patients before they were re-deployed again to another patients. During the deployment period, patients were supported by a combination of telephone calls and home visits.
Measure the impact of Telehealth on 30 day readmission rates in this cohort
Test the impact of new technology on caseload/ work load of CAST
Test the acceptability of Telehealth on this cohort and on CAST
Asses impact on ability to selfcare
Measure patients’ satisfaction
Outcomes – 73/285 (25%) patients received this intervention with the CAST team
– 30 day re-admission rates within the intervention group was 3% compared to 8% in the other ESD patients, and 18% within the Respiratory directorate
– Those in the telehealth group accounted for 5% of all home visits and 25% of all phone calls made by CAST
– The capacity of CAST was increased from 15 Cases to 18 cases at any one time (20%)
– Patients’ survey showed excellent impact on
Confidence in self care
Patients acceptability and likeability to Telehealth
Good suggestions were made by patients for improvement
Conclusions The use of Telehealth in the context of ESD for COPD patients admitted with an exacerbation appears to have favourable effect on relevant outcomes without impact on workload and therefore might me a useful tool to consider.