Avoiding admission into hospital wherever safe and possible is not only in the interest of an NHS organisation, but in the ongoing pandemic, many patients also wish to avoid a hospital setting as much as possible, thus reducing their personal risk of catching Covid-19.
Virtual wards allow ongoing care to be provided to those who need it in the community – usually at home or in a care home. They align with the working aims of ICSs of collaborative working across health and social care, and virtual wards have greatly assisted the NHS’s pandemic efforts in supporting non-critical Covid patients to be supported in their recovery at home.
As ongoing waves of Covid-19 continue to threaten to overwhelm NHS organisations, the use of virtual wards has become a vital tool in avoiding preventable hospital admission. However, in order to ensure seamless, joined up care outside of the hospital setting, medical teams require coordinated task management that works across different technology systems.
mii Tasks, delivered by Infinity Health, joins up the processes so that task management is more fluid, enabling multidisciplinary teams caring for the same patient to have visibility of the activity of the team and the status of clinical tasks in real time. For example, a patient who is recovering from Covid-19 could go home earlier to continue their recuperation and may submit readings (e.g. for oxygen levels) remotely on remote monitoring tools for their clinical team to check and assess. Through task management these readings could not only be visible to the relevant staff but could also instigate tasks to be actioned. At the same time, a physiotherapist could treat the patient at home, logging when they visit, what they did, and adding to the required task list for the patient. 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 counter the risk of becoming overwhelmed – providing not only a short-term solution to ongoing Covid-19 efforts, but a longer-term process for avoiding unnecessary admission whilst advancing quality of care.
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