This Guardian article, reporting on Edinburgh following Croydon’s example of setting up ‘virtual wards’ of people being cared for at home, is slow to get going but read on to where it gets into some of the detail. It’s a service that arises from a distinctly different culture to the ‘Doctor will see you now’ item below this. Read it here. And oh, someone has just realised the model could be applied to social care…[Additional information following the above post, this month’s sponsor, Project E-vita, pointed out that a client of theirs, Medihome, has been providing this kind of service for some NHS hospitals in London and South East England for a number of years. The NHS Department of Innovation and Improvement made a video about Medihome and Project E-vita as an example of an innovative way of delivering care to people. Medihome use the Project E-vita system to collect data about patients in their own home using MACIC, a PDA-based system that synchronises with the master record held on Project E-vita. Hospital consultants can then access patients’ records and monitor their progress. Nurses even take images of wounds healing and upload these for observation. Medihome provides two distinct services to NHS hospitals: ‘early discharge’, saving costs on hospital occupancy, and an ‘alternative admission’ service where patients that might be admitted through the emergency department are intercepted and assessed for treatment in their own home.
There are three excellent videos showing the system in use that are accessible from the Medihome home page.