Salford Royal - Reducing admissions among heart failure patients

Salford Care Organisation are piloting remote care solutions to follow up Heart Failure and reduce avoidable admissions (ongoing pilot project pending evaluation)

Published: 04. July 2020

Heart failure is a relatively common condition and individuals with heart failure are at substantial risk of being urgently admitted or readmitted to hospital. Gold standard therapy for heart failure patients involves prescribing medications in accordance with national guidelines and carefully titrating the dosage based on symptoms, blood pressure, weight and blood test results.

Remote care can contribute to optimising the dosage of evidence-based therapies for heart failure patients and identify early signs of deterioration. Remote care has also been important in maintaining the quality of care during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many heart failure patients decided to shield, were advised to remain at home, or were unable to attend outpatient clinics due to reductions in capacity.

Healthcare teams at Salford Care Organisation, part of the Northern Care Alliance Group, are piloting the clinician platform Dignio Prevent and the MyDignio patient app to remotely monitor heart failure patients.

One of the key things we look for is the patient’s weight – if it increases more than two kilos over seven days there is the potential for a fluid build-up, and we would need to have a telephone consultation to discuss this.

– Dr Nehal Hussain, consultant cardiologist and heart failure lead at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Population: Heart failure patients under outpatient follow up.

Intervention: Heart failure patients are provided with digital scales and blood pressure devices to measure weight and blood pressure which they submit manually via the MyDignio patient app. The cardiology team at Salford Royal Hospital use the clinician platform, Dignio Prevent, to review and monitor this data and to set thresholds for alerts on an individual patient basis. If a value falls outside the acceptable range, clinicians receive a notification and may act accordingly.

Expected outcomes: It is hoped the cardiology team will be able to identify signs of deterioration earlier, allowing for more timely intervention and a reduction in avoidable admissions. Staff and patient satisfaction are expected to increase, as are levels of reassurance amongst patients.

“We can actually use the system to have a video consultation. Rather than having to wait several weeks to find this out, we can potentially pick this up sooner and give the right advice. The aim is to avoid hospital admissions for our patients. Patients don’t want to have to go into hospital and we want to try to care for them in their home and in the community.”

Learn more about Dignio here: