Impact of digital technology in care homes on Emergency Department attendances

Garner, Alex and Knight, Jo and Preston, Nancy and Dixon, Simon and Watchorn, Sam and Caiado, Camila and McShane, Catherine and King, Graham and Mason, Suzanne (2022) Impact of digital technology in care homes on Emergency Department attendances. Emergency Medicine Journal, 39 (12): A974. ISSN 1472-0205

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HealthCall is a digital health initiative that aims to reduce emergency department attendances by upskilling care home staff to use app-based technology whereby residents with new clinical presentations’ observations are recorded electronically using a structured SBAR approach. Information is fed to a Single Point of Access where clinical staff triage the referrals. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the HealthCall technology across the North East of England to safely reduce ED referrals and attendance. The study included 122 care homes covering the study period 2018–2021. Routinely collected secondary care data from County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust was linked with clinical data from HealthCall. We describe the change in ED attendances over the period before, during and after the introduction of the technology to the care homes. We fitted Poisson generalised linear mixture models to monthly counts of emergency attendances. Covariates were included to adjust for seasonality and external factors such as COVID-19, and hierarchical random intercepts were included to account for both individual and care home variability. The impact of HealthCall technology usage on residents’ expected number of attendances is tested as a ‘step’ change at intervention and a ‘slope’ change post intervention. We identified 8,702 care home residents through linkage between the secondary care and HealthCall datasets. Preliminary results suggest the use of HealthCall reduces expected monthly ED attendances for care home residents by 16% (95%CI 5 to 25, p-value This study finds that the implementation of the HealthCall technology reduces the expected number of monthly emergency department attendances for residents. The technology allows for ongoing monitoring of resident health alongside providing more convenient and timely access to clinical advice that promotes more appropriate and resident-focussed decision leading to fewer unnecessary ED attendances.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Emergency Medicine Journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
?? yes - externally fundednoemergency medicinecritical care and intensive care medicine ??
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Deposited On:
29 Mar 2023 09:00
Last Modified:
23 Jun 2024 01:33