Telehealth pilot transforming healthcare for Lincolnshire care home residents and staff

An innovative 'telehealth' system is currently being piloted in two care homes in Lincolnshire with a view to rolling it out elsewhere.
A new pilot scheme could radically improve care for elderly people in the county.A new pilot scheme could radically improve care for elderly people in the county.
A new pilot scheme could radically improve care for elderly people in the county.

Staff at two homes south of Lincoln use the Whzan multi-patient system to monitor the health status of residents and request a visit from the Home Health Team (HHT) if required.

The Whzan system contains a blood pressure monitor, thermometer and pulse oximeter to check oxygen levels. The readings are relayed to a tablet PC which talks back to the cloud clinical portal and generates a National Early Warning Score (NEWS).

The NEWS indicates severity and is a concrete observation that can then be relayed with confidence to the HHT or other medical professionals.

Maria Matemadombo, Complex Case Manager with the Home Health Team said: “Whzan has given carers a real sense of pride and purpose in collecting observations and it is having benefits for the residents too.

“Care workers feel empowered and can now request a visit backed up with really good objective information based on current levels of observation where they can see either a deterioration or an improvement in symptoms.

“Previously they would be seeking help from medical professionals based only on a resident’s feedback or their own observation that someone wasn’t looking well.”

Whzan is already said to be proving popular with staff and residents involved, according to the Lincolnshire Community Health Services Trust, and is fulfilling its objectives to improve residents’ lives, empower care workers and make savings in resources.

It is hoped significant reductions will be achieved across the board, including calls to the Home Health Care Home Team, 999 calls, A&E and emergency admissions. It is said not to be just about NHS savings, the reduction in emergency events frees resources and improves lifestyle in the homes. Patients’ lives, are of course, considerably improved.

As well as the straightforward clinical measurements Whzan provides, there are also a range of questionnaires and assessment tools including hydration tracking, falls risk assessment, falls logging, and wound care with photo history, to name just a few.

Care Home Manager, Rena Adam, said: “The Whzan is a fantastic bit of kit, this has, along with the Home Health Team, given the staff the confidence to be able to take observations and know exactly what to flag up dependent on the results. This has enabled us to react quicker on the whole providing a higher standard of care.

“On reviewing our audits last week, both hospital admissions and falls in the home have decreased considerably since using the service. If this was rolled out on a wider scale, I’m convinced it would dramatically reduce hospital admissions along with falls like it has here. I really can’t express what a fantastic job the Home Health Team do, along with the Whzan pilot.”

When the pilot concludes, the NHS hopes to secure funding to roll out the use of Whzan in care homes across the county.

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