Telehealth helps UK hospital management

Hospital workers can improve their workload prioritisation through a telehealth program with support from UK-based Milton Keynes Council.

Patients benefiting are local people living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), with the council and Milton Keynes Community Health Services UK working with Tunstall Healthcare.

This partnership will offer integrated telecare and telehealthcare to support these locally afflicted people.

According to a release from Tunstall, the project’s pilot phase that ran from September 2010 to August 2011 was evaluated from a cost savings and quality of life perspective.

Milton Keynes head of service, Sandra Rankin said information is being joined from different systems in order to get a more holistic view of the person and tailor the support on offer.

“It also means the district nurses and community matrons can prioritise their workloads more easily, because they have extra information about patients from the telecare equipment,” Ms Rankin said.

According to a release from Tunstall, 88 per cent of carers said having the system resulted in major benefits.

These benefits include being more able to help, fewer worries about the health and safety of the person they care for, and trusting that early intervention will take place if a problem arose.

The release also said care staff reported the service had a ‘positive impact’ on clients, providing reassurance that their condition is being constantly monitored.

“They reported a reduction in exacerbations, and the number and length of hospital admissions because of prompt treatment,” the release said.

Integrating systems together, the same monitoring centre receives alerts and information from telecare and telehealth equipment, allowing both sets of data to be viewed together.

“A health and social care system that talks to each other enables us to give a much better response to needs”, Ms Rankin said.

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