Safely managing elderly patients in care homes during Covid-19 and beyond

mypillcheck.co.uk

One of the biggest stories to break during the pandemic when it first struck Europe was that of care homes being abandoned by staff, leaving elderly residents to fend for themselves. This pointed the finger at the staff who had fled the care homes but also the healthcare systems which allowed these patients to be discarded in the first place.

Mahatma Gandhi’s words certainly ring true when he said that “the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members”. However, despite the early warning signs of similar impacts on the UK, the current status quo for primary care regarding elderly care homes seem to be to keep a distance some eight weeks into a national lockdown.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19, chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cardiac complications are no longer being proactively assessed. The age groups within which these diseases are most prevalent is the elderly population. Already unable to engage with medical services due to mobility or social restrictions, Covid-19 has further placed them at the back of the queue for any medical assessments or interventions.

To quell this crisis, the NHS has embraced digital healthcare but not necessarily using mediums that are immediately accessible to the elderly. Is it really possible that family members or healthcare workers caring for an elderly patient are likely to download an app to their mobile phone and agree to hold their patient’s/loved one’s personal health data on their mobile device? Why do we continue to let the tail wag the dog rather than the other way around?  Surely digital health should address these difficulties for patients and find alternative solutions that take into account the impediments that elderly patients face.

At Ansava, we have developed an online health platform (mypillcheck.co.uk) which stores no personal health data and embraces the challenges of the current pandemic. Harnessing the skills set and insight of residential care workers is the key to ensuring patients are monitored remotely in a caring and friendly manner, rather than forcing staff to cross cities with patients in tow for reviews.

Mypillcheck.co.uk allows patients to have the following reviews remotely:

1.    Diabetes reviews

2.    COPD reviews

3.    Dementia

4.    Asthma reviews

5.    Blood pressure reviews

6.    Medication reviews

7.    Private referrals

8.    NHS health checks

9.    Depression and anxiety reviews

10.  Contraceptive pill reviews

11.  Learning disabilities

12.  Heart failure

To have a remote review using our platform, patients or their carers, contact their GP practice. They receive an encrypted verification code, which allows them access to the site. Here they populate the appropriate data including any requested physical health questions such as blood pressure or weight and have this securely sent back to their GP. This allows continuity of care and optimisation of health without the need for set appointments or video calling which needs to be undertaken at a set time or date.

The absence of these reviews is the perfect storm for the NHS when the winter pressures return in a few months. Conditions that would normally have regular assessment will result in greater exacerbations and acute events. Practices have so far lost two months of data and the longer this situation goes on the greater the possibility of untoward events.

Benefits of the mypillcheck.co.uk platform for patients:

  • Ensure social distancing
  • 24/7 service
  • Reduce pressure to attend at specific times
  • Delivery of medication sent directly to chosen pharmacy (via EPS)
  • Fast and Convenient

Benefits of the mypillcheck.co.uk platform for General Practice:

  • Collects all QoF Data without face to face review
  • Improves CQC compliance
  • Maintains capitation fees by retaining patients
  • Reduces pressure on practice appointments
  • More time with patients who need assessment
  • Real-time health data collection

Working with GPs we hope to bridge the gap between patients and their access to primary care support.

For further information please contact us at info@mypillcheck.co.uk

One thought on “Safely managing elderly patients in care homes during Covid-19 and beyond

  1. Amazing work Dr Kalia. Seems a perfect solution to recalibrate the way in which we deliver frontline GP work whilst keeping high clinical standards in a post Covid era.

    Like

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