Weldmar’s Telehealth Project
Weldmar Hospicecare uses Telehealth to support patients in the community
Telehealth is a service that we have been piloting for 18 months, to increase self-management for patients, whilst improving equality of service provision and efficiency of clinical input from Weldmar staff.
47 of Weldmar’s patients took part in the pilot which provided us with some fantastic outcomes. Our patients felt more empowered as they were self-reporting any changes or concerns they had, carers were reassured knowing that the patients symptoms were being logged daily and enabled us to provide improved patient centred care.
One of our patients used to keep an A4 diary and would write every day how he had been, his symptoms and his concerns. However, after trialing the Telehealth project, he felt he no longer needed to keep his paper diary, and completed his questions daily on the Telehealth POD instead.
He said “I am very happy to complete the questions daily and my mind has been put at rest by being part of this pilot. My Weldmar nurses are great and there is always someone at the end of the phone. Taking part in the Telehealth pilot has been great fun.”
In addition to the daily questions, there is also the facility to Skype patients. One of Weldmar’s patients wanted his home to remain private, without the frequent visits from a variety of healthcare professionals. We were pleased to be able to assist in reducing these visits, by providing a Telehealth POD.
He told us that he felt that it gave him and his Weldmar Community Nurse up to date information about his symptoms, and also he liked that he did not need to remember what days he had problems or changes in symptoms as this was recorded on the POD.
When talking about the Skype calls, he told us that he liked the fact he could see is Weldmar Community Nurse and he did not have to travel to our inpatient unit to see her, as he was still reluctant for home visits.
One of our Weldmar Community Nurses said “The patients I have used Skype with have enjoyed using it. It has been good for those patients who have not wanted a visit but have still benefitted from face to face contact.”
The Telehealth pilot has enabled us to enhance the support that we provide to patients who are being cared for and supported in the community. It has been such a success, that we are now looking to develop an App, which can be installed on the personal devices of any of our community patients. This would mean that more people could benefit from the positive results that have been achieved during the pilot scheme.
82% of Weldmar’s care is given in the community and therefore, we want to ensure that we are supporting patients and their carers in the best possible way. Introducing Telehealth is just one of the steps that we have made to ensure that we continue to be here for when patients need us most.