Remote monitoring technology & improving D2A pathways

From hospital to home: Nick Weston, Chief Commercial Officer at Lilli, on the role of remote monitoring technology in improving discharge to access (D2A)

Ongoing staff shortages place ever-increasing pressures on the health and social care sector. With freeing up hospital resources and clearing beds a necessity for healthcare, a recent ADASS spring survey revealed that 82% of health and social care directors are seeing increased social care referrals for people being discharged from hospital.

As such, the need for a seamless and robust discharge to access (D2A) pathway has never been more apparent. Local authorities have a key role in improving D2A pathways, so that more people receive the necessary quality of care at home, rather than in hospitals awaiting discharge or in intermediate care beds. But with 400,000 people currently waiting for assessments or reviews, how can councils achieve the best care outcomes while optimising scarce and valuable resources? 

Enter the latest innovations in remote monitoring technology. Supporting the excellent work on the frontlines, advanced, non-intrusive digital tools can smooth out and streamline D2A pathways by enabling more efficient, evidence-based, and data-driven care assessments using sensor technology.

Nick Weston, Chief Commercial Officer, Lilli

Removing the reactionary

The challenges of D2A are significant, but not insurmountable. To better support those who are medically fit to return home from hospital, decision makers need more proactive, efficient, and evidence-based assessment methods.

At present, assessment for access or allocation of care relies heavily on in-person data collection, slow paper-led admin, and anecdotal evidence, systems, and procedures that don’t provide a ‘best fit’ based on requirements. With only weak evidence from short, reactionary snapshots to go on, staff can understandably over-provide care in a bid to reduce risk, racking up needless costs and adding to overstretched resources. Therefore, hospital-based assessments don’t always reflect the homecare needs of patients, with a lack of detailed information at handover causing further inefficiencies.  

Accurate, real-time data is desperately needed to drive better decision making and remove the bottlenecks in the D2A pathway. Moving D2A assessments to a tech-supported, at-home model can build a more proactive, preventative approach. Staff spend less time filing paperwork or chasing out-of-date data and more time continuing service users’ care and assessment out of hospital. In turn, this reduces the potential for health decline and further preventable hospital visits.

Embracing an outcomes-driven approach

While innovations in remote monitoring tools hold much promise, it is worth remembering that technology is only part of the solution to the D2A challenge. To get the most out of these digital solutions, local authorities must oversee a significant cultural change at the front-line, so that new technology can be rolled out with confidence and at scale.

A key part of this shift involves gaining a detailed understanding of specific outcomes and measuring these outcomes in a way that supports a scaled rollout. Only then can the success of the technology be fully validated. As the health and social care sector continues to come under intense pressure, the importance of a streamlined and robust D2A pathway cannot be overstated.

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