The Synergy of Acute Care, Technology, and Community for Better Health
What is acute care?
Acute care is a medical service provided to patients who suffer from an illness or injury that requires immediate attention. Acute care is usually provided in a hospital setting, and aims to stabilise the patient's condition, prevent complications, and provide appropriate treatment. In the UK, acute care services are readily available in most hospitals, providing critical care to millions of patients each year.
Acute care in the Community
Acute care in the community have been gaining momentum in recent years, providing patients with high-quality care outside the traditional hospital setting. Hospital at Home programs allow patients to receive acute care services in the comfort of their own homes. These services include wound care, intravenous medications, and vital sign monitoring, among others. By keeping patients out of the hospital, Hospital at Home programs reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections and other complications.
Virtual wards offer another option. They typically consist of a team of healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and social workers, who provide ongoing support to patients in their homes. Remote patient monitoring is an integral component of virtual wards, enabling the multidisciplinary teams to track patient progress and intervene if necessary. This is particularly important for patients with chronic conditions who require ongoing care and support.
Predictive analysis is an emerging technique that takes a data driven approach. By analyzing patient data, providers can identify those who are at high risk of needing acute care services and intervene before hospital admission becomes necessary. This may involve adjusting medications or referring patients to primary care or community services.
Advantages of Acute Care in the Community
- Reduced hospitalisation rates and readmissions
- Improved patient outcomes and satisfaction
- Lower healthcare costs
- Increased accessibility to care for patients in remote or underserved areas
- Reduced burden on hospital-based acute care services
Acute care in the community has the potential to improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and increase accessibility to care for patients. However, effective implementation requires appropriate training, resources, and funding, as well as effective communication and coordination between healthcare providers.
Digital Technology and Acute care
Digital technological innovations are helping to improve the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of acute care leading to better patient outcomes and experiences. Digital imaging technologies such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs enable healthcare providers to quickly identify and diagnose acute medical conditions, such as strokes or fractures.
Various digital technologies are also helping to improve communication and coordination among healthcare providers, which is crucial in acute care settings where time is of the essence. Electronic health records (EHRs) allow healthcare providers to quickly access and share patient information, enabling them to make more informed treatment decisions. Remote Patient Monitoring and Telemedicine technologies also allow for remote consultations and virtual visits, which can help to reduce the need for in-person appointments and improve access to care for patients in remote or underserved areas.
PCL Connect to Support Acute Care After Hospital Discharge
PCL Connect is a connected care platform that can support acute care after hospital discharges. It allows healthcare professionals to remotely monitor patients' vital signs and symptoms, communicate with patients and caregivers, and make informed decisions about their care.
After hospital discharge, patients may still require ongoing medical care, monitoring, and support. With PCL Connect, patients can receive the care they need in the comfort of their own homes, reducing the need for readmissions and emergency department visits.
Through PCL Connect, patients can report any changes in their health and support effective medication management, and other aspects of their recovery.
PCL Connect along with PCL Wellness watch and other connected medical devices, enables remote monitoring of patients' vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation levels. This allows for early detection of potential complications and more proactive interventions, such as adjusting medication doses or recommending further medical attention.
Acute care plays a vital role in the healthcare system, providing critical care to millions of patients in the UK each year. Acute care services are provided by a team of skilled healthcare professionals who work together to provide timely and appropriate care to patients. The ongoing development of new technologies and models of care will be essential in meeting the increasing demand for acute care services in the future.