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Telehealth service – increased NHS efficiency?

A recently-launched telemonitoring service (HomePod®, Telehealth Solutions) for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and chronic heart failure could could save the NHS over £70 million in two years, from the cost of COPD patient care alone, according to calculations from the provider.1

The system could produce savings by reducing the number of hospital admissions, home visits by GPs, and appointments at the GP surgery, by enabling more rapid response to destabilising events, says the report.  A specialist nurse triage service, working in partnership with other clinicians, aims to support more informed clinical decision making, while empowering the patient to take greater control of their care.

The system also aims to provide for more regular monitoring and appropriate intervention to better manage demand on the healthcare system, whilst freeing up clinician time from administrative duties to caring for patients.

HomePod8There are 900,000 COPD sufferers in the UK and over 10,000 are estimated to have more than two hospitalisations a year with the cost of a single hospitalisation costing the NHS almost £2,500. It is estimated that this new service could therefore save the UK over £70 million in two years from the cost of COPD patient care alone.1

The system allows clinicians to modify and personalise the data collected for an individual patient and Clinical Nurses Specialists are able to access and remotely analyse individual patient information, such as pulse, blood pressure and weight; detecting warning signs and making early interventions.

John Dyson, Chief Executive of Telehealth Solutions, said, “This is not just another piece of fancy kit like those that have gone before, which have only overloaded the NHS with data. The Telehealth Solutions’ ‘end-to-end service’ is a tailored, comprehensive patient care model, ensuring full collaboration and dialogue between patient and healthcare professional from the outset”.

“It is a significant step forward for patients with these long-term conditions as they can now take more control over their treatment plan and actively participate in consultations in collaboration with clinicians,” he added.

References

1 Telehealth Solutions. Estimated cost saving created by telehealth use in community-based COPD care.  (Available from: http://www.telehealthsolutions.co.uk/Downloads/Estimated_Cost_Saving_Created_by_Telehealth_Use_in_Community-Based_COPD_Care.pdf).

Published on: December 1, 2011

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