Patient Monitor provides virtual consultations and is being used by a number of NHS trusts. There are three main uses of Patient Monitor:
1) Reducing avoidable admissions
These consultations allow clinicians to regularly monitor patients with long-term conditions, as a result significantly reducing avoidable admissions. In COPD the savings are £1,500 p.a. per patient.
2) Reducing outpatient appointments
The service reduces the number of outpatient appointments by nearly 50% and dramatically reduces DNAs.
3) Reducing pre-op appointments.
By remotely contacting patients we are able to prevent patients having to come in for unnecessary pre-op appointments if their surgery has been delayed.
Patient Monitor provides virtual consultations via either an app or an automated phone call. Patients choose which communication medium they prefer. It has been used very successfully in the NHS for over five years. The service is easy to use and gets high satisfaction ratings from both patients and staff.
The consultations are conducted using a set of questions agreed with the clinicians. Patient Monitor uses conditional logic, so the answer to a question dictates what the next question should be. The answers patients provide are triaged within the system and clinicains are notified of patients at risk. These notifications can be via SMS, email or the system portal.
The service can be used as a stand-alone service or integrated with the hospital's own systems. There is a standard HL7 interface that allows integration with NHS systems.
NICE has used two Patient Monitor case studies, one by LSE and the other by Bucks New University, as examples of the evidence that is required by the the Evidence Standards Framework for Digital Heath Technologies. Summaries of these case studies can be found on page 26 of the NICE report which is available at the following address:
These case studies show very significant cost savings and also demonstrated the service improves patient safety and patient self-management.
NICE has identified the service as being a "low financial commitment", because it only costs £1 a week to monitor a patient.