Greater Manchester, National

COVID-19 tracker & outbreak management tool

Expansion from care homes into domiciliary settings

Health and care professionals from Greater Manchester (overseen by Health Innovation Manchester) have worked with industry partner Safe Steps (a National Innovation Accelerator SME) to develop a UK-first digital innovation that is helping care homes to track COVID-19 and coordinate care with GP practices, social care and hospitals to optimally support vulnerable residents.

The tool currently allow care homes staff to input information about a residents’ COVID-19 related symptoms into a tracker, which can be shared directly with the resident’s GP and NHS community response team to ensure that a swift assessment and response can be put in place.

It also means that the NHS can more closely monitor how care homes are doing across the locality more easily thanks to a visual dashboard that displays the information at an aggregate level.

The enhanced Safe Steps tool currently has three key features:

  • Fall Prevention digital risk assessment.
  • COVID-19 outbreak management for care homes that connects GPs and Health professionals with real-time symptom tracker of residents of care homes to enable timely digital consultations to ensure patients are on the correct care pathway.
  • RESTORE2 TM mini digital platform to enable care homes staff to spot and report soft signs of deterioration.

This integrated digital falls prevention, COVID-19 tracker and dashboard tool is now in the process of being deployed to 550+ care homes across Greater Manchester.   This is enhanced by a comprehensive support package from Health Innovation Manchester including system engagement, clinical development, training, project management, communications and evaluation.

Further developments are now planned as part of the expansion from care homes into domiciliary settings, to include:

  • Direct support for GM Virtual Wards (an adapted version of tracker to monitor patients at home who will be cared for in a virtual ward).
  • The nationally recognised RESTORE2 signs of deterioration.
  • The national six steps end of life care pathway.
  • A flu symptom and outbreak tracker to support winter resilience.

This digital tool and deployment package is unique to Greater Manchester but is attracting significant national interest for wider adoption and spread in to care homes and other settings in the fight against COVID-19.

The project will also support the COVID Oximetry@home work, currently being undertaken by the Greater Manchester Patient Safety Collaborative, to monitor care home residents through a virtual ward system.

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