Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, one of the largest and busiest in the country, has been monitoring COVID-19 patients at home. As of mid-May, the hospital has cared for 446 patients who tested positive for the virus, along with 156 other COVID-negative patients in quarantine. The Sydney Local Health District has had to rapidly scale its rpavirtual service which started as a trial in March 2020 for palliative care and cystic fibrosis patients back in February 2020. Then, it had two full-time equivalent nurses on staff. Now, the team has over 30 nurses as well as another team of doctors, all of whom had to be trained for virtual workflows, eMR documentation and scheduling remote appointments.
The technology used to support the service includes TempTraq temperature sensors which are monitored in real-time by nurses at RPA's Care Centre and iHealth's pulse oximeters. The RPA Virtual Hospital (rpavirtual) combines these with Pexip for patient video consultations.
“There was a rapid redesign to provide virtual healthcare to patients with COVID-19 managed in the community,” Eleni Efthymiou said, rpavirtual health information manager. “This is for patients who were stable enough to be monitored at home and includes clear escalation processes.”
Pulse+ IT speaks to Ms. Efthymiou on her experience of the rapidly expanding virtual health service. More...