As at February 2021, just under 4.7million people were waiting for elective surgery in England, a waiting list that was only growing as surgery was put on hold whilst the NHS tackled the Covid-19 pandemic in its hospitals.
During this same period, around 388,000 patients had been waiting for over a year to be treated in a hospital. In simple terms, a solution to this growing problem could be found in discharging patients from hospital beds sooner, and providing treatment in the home or a suitable community setting (i.e. a care home). More hospital beds could be freed up, and more patients could receive treatment out of hospital.
mii Tasks, delivered by Infinity Health, supports patients to recover at home sooner after surgery, with appropriate clinical oversight and care. Virtual wards, which allow ongoing care to be provided to those who need it within the community, can enable waiting lists to be tackled quicker by ensuring the safe and speedy discharge of patients who can be effectively cared for outside of the hospital setting. Many patients often wish to leave the hospital as soon as possible after surgery, and so this option also allows their care and recovery to be effectively monitored, whilst giving them a better overall experience.
For example, a patient who has had a procedure could go home earlier to recover and may submit readings (e.g. heart rate, blood pressure) remotely for their clinical team to check and assess. At the same time, a physiotherapist could visit faciltating rehabilitation, whilst a nurse might go to check wounds. Each could see when the other went, what they did, and add necessary tasks to the required task list. The teams would not necessarily have to work for the same organisation (providing the right data-sharing agreements were in place), and yet seamless care could continue to be provided effectively.
Where NHS organisations have the solution in place to join up disparate technology systems, care coordination becomes more effective, and much needed beds are released within hospitals to support the need to reduce both waiting lists and waiting times for patients.
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