City Health Care Partnership and Inhealthcare lead the way in digital health
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, NHS organisations have quickly had to adapt to new ways of working. City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP) and digital health innovator Inhealthcare have worked energetically to meet demand and launch new technology-enabled services at speed, meaning patients can get the treatment they need whilst minimising risk.
At the forefront of the partnership from CHCP are Mark Filby, information systems programme manager and Mike Cosgrove, project manager and from Inhealthcare product director Jamie Innes, account manager Natalie Oates and project manager Anthea Baker.
Over the past four years, the team has made ground-breaking progress in the adoption of digital health across the areas of COPD, anticoagulation, child immunisations, care homes and wound care. Its proactive approach has enabled CHCP to react fast to the pandemic and roll out new services to slow the spread of infection.
The rapid response to the pandemic
When lockdown hit in March 2020, CHCP needed a solution to screen every patient due to attend an appointment or home visit. Every weekday, CHCP receives around 1,000 patients at its clinics and typically arranges another 1,000 nurse visits in community settings. CHCP did not have the capacity to do this manually so turned to Inhealthcare to develop a digital alternative.
The patient responds to the questionnaire via SMS or an automated phone call. Responses are analysed and any warning signs are flagged up for CHCP, allowing healthcare professionals to prepare accordingly or provide the patient with guidance.
Patient records are updated through Inhealthcare’s integration with all major NHS systems. If any patients do not respond, they are sent reminders and alerts are raised for any patient not responding.
Citizen reminder services
The second service to launch during COVID-19 was our citizen reminder service. With new Government guidance advising citizens to wear face coverings when attending hospital and clinic appointments, CHCP needed to remind its citizens to take precautions to reduce the spread.
Working with Inhealthcare, SMS notifications were sent to more than 35,000 vulnerable citizens in just a couple of days.
One of the key focuses for CHCP in response to the COVID-19 outbreak was how to support care homes in managing high-risk residents and giving them the digital support and tools to reduce unnecessary face-to-face contact.
Inhealthcare and CHCP have expanded the existing NEWS monitoring programme within care homes and separately developed a wound care application to allow care homes to refer patients to community nursing. The solution allows care homes to complete wound assessment and care plans, taking images of wounds and tracking compliance with care plans. All of this data is integrated back into the patient’s community record.
Another of our successful roll-outs includes a COPD home monitoring pathway that allows healthcare professionals to capture daily vital sign measurements from patients including SP02, blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate as well as responses to a health questionnaire.
Launching this telehealth service allowed vulnerable patients with COPD to manage their condition in the safety of their own home. The automated service reduces pressures on nursing staff during the already challenging period, whilst keeping patients safe and well.
With reducing rates of vaccinations across the UK, CHCP worked with Inhealthcare to build a solution that removes paper-based forms, automates population data into the GP or community record and gives visibility of uptake across schools and regions.
Parents and guardians complete an online questionnaire, which automatically feeds back to the health care professional. Healthcare professionals are also given early visibility of children with contraindications who can be triaged. On the day of vaccination, staff have access to vaccination lists on a smartphone app. Having information in advance about the children to be vaccinated means health care professionals can be better prepared and reduces waste. Once the vaccination is completed, the community record is updated. Customised dashboards provide real-time population uptake across the given demographic.
Inhealthcare, in partnership with Smith and Nephew, developed a digital wound assessment application for district nursing teams to complete their wound assessments in the field. The app allows nurses to complete all of the wound assessments digitally, including taking images. All information is sent to the community record. The app also provides the nurse with recommended dressings based on factors such as healing trajectory and signs of infection.
What makes the partnership so successful?
Teamwork: Like any partnership, team work is essential. Mike, Mark and Jamie keep each other informed of technical advancements in health and care and share knowledge where they can, whilst Anthea and Natalie project manage each project launch to ensure timescales are met.
Feedback cycles: Inhealthcare and CHCP have worked in an agile way with regular reviews and continuous feedback to make sure the functionality being developed meets expectations and delivery. Weekly meetings between key stakeholders and regular demonstrations have ensured that everyone is aware of progress and has visibility of the end solution.
Agility of Inhealthcare: CHCP chose to work with Inhealthcare for its ability to develop and deploy new digital health services at speed. The Inhealthcare Toolkit allows organisations to build services in days and the company’s agile development cycle gives NHS organisations a much more hands-on approach that can be adapted as each project grows.
Interoperability capabilities: Inhealthcare integrates with a vast range of health care systems and strongly believes in open standards. This reduces workload for clinical staff and ensures the right staff can access the right data, at the right time.
Digital inclusion: Inhealthcare’s technology is built for everyone, and not just for those who have the technical know-how or latest smartphone. Our variety of communication methods allows patients to choose exactly how they want to be contacted. They can choose from automated phone calls, SMS, app, online, Alexa or video.