The St. Antonius Hospital, together with e-health company Luscii, has developed home monitoring for hospitalised Covid patients. A reduction of 134 admission days was recorded in a group of 33 patients. These positive results bring a greater admission capacity for hospitals a step closer.
Home monitoring via the Luscii app
Covid-19 patients who have not yet fully recovered, but are stable, may voluntarily take early discharge. They receive home monitoring to ease the transition. Via a tailor-made program in the Luscii app, patients report their oxygen saturation levels, temperature and symptoms on a daily basis. A team of pulmonologists and co-assistants assess the data trends and make contact if necessary. In the case of deterioration, rapid adjustment of the treatment may prevent a readmission. The medical team is also available to patients by telephone for additional questions.
Reduction in length of stay
The results from the first Corona wave show a reduction of an average of 5 admission days per patient. This is based on 33 patients who were monitored at home during April and May. A large proportion of these patients received oxygen at home. This group experienced the greatest reduction, with an average of 6.5 admission days per patient. Three patients were readmitted without emergency. They, too, eventually recovered well.
A survey showed that 97% of patients were very satisfied with home monitoring. The remote monitoring provides a safe feeling. In addition, recovering in one’s own living environment is much more pleasant, with familiar faces close at hand. All users would recommend this form of care to their loved ones.
The home monitoring of St. Antonius Hospital was set up by a collaboration between Christiaan van Swol (chair of the e-health working group for Covid-19), pulmonologists Renske Vorselaars, Hans Hardeman and Eline Mattern, and Kalle Majoor and Agnes Grutters, both fifth-year co-assistants. Thanks to the earlier collaboration with Luscii for people with COPD, a creative solution for overcrowded hospitals could be devised quickly.
‘We saw the shortage of beds increasing and therefore wanted to create a nursing ward at home’, explained Agnes Grutters. ‘In a safe way, so that the hospital retains capacity without adding an extra burden onto GPs. As a requirement, patients had to be able to manage themselves at home. This home monitoring can actually be seen as a bridge between the hospital and the GP. Fortunately, we can include an unlimited number of patients at no extra cost. This flexibility is needed now that the number of admissions continues to rise’.
Expansion to other hospitals
Now that the second wave is in full swing, the St. Antonius Hospital is using the Luscii program once again. By now, almost 20 patients are already working with the app at home. By reducing admission days, more beds are available for Covid patients and regular care is less compromised. Several hospitals have already expressed an interest in using it, too. This can be achieved relatively quickly; the Maasstad Hospital and UMC Utrecht, for example, recently started as well. Approximately half of all Dutch hospitals already work with the Luscii app for other conditions.