Western Sydney COVID-19 patients now being remotely monitored at home

Patients in Western Sydney who have contracted the coronavirus but are at low to medium risk of serious illness are being remotely monitored at home by GPs and hospital-based community health teams using CareMonitor's shared care software and biometric measurements such as temperature, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and heart rate.

COVID-19 positive patients presenting at Western Sydney Local Health District hospitals are being triaged using a risk assessment protocol in CareMonitor and based on the risk severity rating, are being referred to GPs to be managed in the community.

CareMonitor's risk scoring algorithm uses a green, orange or red status, with red prompting a request for the patient to call an ambulance. If the patient deteriorates during the course of the day, they can send a message on the app to their care team, who can then use the built-in video call functionality to contact the patient and assess the situation.

The daily responses will be monitored by the practice team, with the GPs becoming involved when a more serious score is flagged.

The project is a joint initiative between Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest) and the Western Sydney Local Health District and went live late last week.

One participating GP clinic is Mount Druitt Medical Centre, which is run by Australian Medical Association (NSW) president Kean-Seng Lim, who is also the co-founder and clinical lead for CareMonitor.

“The patients we will accept will have been diagnosed at one of the COVID-19 clinics and are regarded as low to moderate risk,” Dr Lim said. “We know that, with coronavirus, most patients that deteriorate do so in the second week. The CareMonitor platform allows my practice team to see at a glance who needs to be prioritised for follow up.”

CareMonitor’s software platform can monitor patients’ biometric data such as temperature, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and heart rate remotely as well as sending out COVID-19 specific questionnaires adapted from NSW Health and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) guidelines to better monitor the patient’s condition.

The platform was already in use in the region for patients with conditions such as diabetes, heart failure and asthma and has been specifically repurposed for COVID-19 patients.

To complement the new way of triaging COVID-19 patients, the Western Sydney HealthPathways team has developed a dedicated COVID-19 package to provide Western Sydney GPs with the information they require in one location.

WentWest clinical lead and Riverstone Family Medical Practice GP Michelle Crockett the team had made it a top priority that the Western Sydney HealthPathways COVID-19 package was very quickly available to GPs as a source of truth advising on best practice.

It is also helpful when extending to management of COVID-19 patients at home, Dr Crockett said.

WentWest CEO Ray Messom said general practice and specialist LHD teams had come together rapidly to deliver a high-quality clinical service for patients testing positive for COVID-19 in the community.

“We hope that this will slow the spread of COVID-19, alleviate hospital pressures for others in the community and allow patients to be supported and receive the highest quality and most appropriate care in their homes,” he said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: WentWest, Western Sydney LHD, COVID-19, CareMonitor

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