SBAR – Digital Referral and Remote Monitoring Allows care home staff to make high quality referrals directly to local NHS services
Care homes are usually not connected to NHS IT systems. Care home staff need to rely on telephone calls to local NHS services when they have concerns about a client. This takes them away from clients and can often mean they are in call queues for some time. Often they are admitted to hospital or community nursing teams come out to visit residents to provide care.
From a community nursing perspective, this also presents a challenge as there was no way of triaging multiple referrals.
how SBar digital referral and remote monitoring works
The SBAR Digital Referral and Remote Monitoring tool allows care home staff to make high quality electronic referrals directly to local NHS services.
Care home staff capture observational data using the Situation, Background Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) model. The system then calculates a NEWS2 (National Early Warning) score which is then integrated back into the patient’s NHS care record.
Care home staff carry out remote observations such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation and temperature, whilst also providing details of their concerns. The system calculates the NEWS2 score based on the information provided. This information is submitted to clinical teams in the NHS so that community nurses can assess the client through a high quality electronic referral.
It was initially developed by County Durham Care Partnership – a collaboration of local authority and healthcare providers. They introduced the service across 115 care homes.
sbar digital referral and remote monitoring benefits
- It integrates with the existing NHS patient record
- Care home staff feel empowered
- Clinicians are better informed when they receive a referral which helps them manage their caseload
- Our evaluation found that there was a 30 per cent reduction in community nurse visits
- Hospital admissions were reduced by 3.4 per home every month
- It led to a reduction in inappropriate hospital admissions
- Care home staff spent less time on the phone trying to make referrals which means they can spend more time with residents
- Client’s families and friends felt more reassured that their loved ones are being well cared for
- The data captured by care home staff is automatically populated into the patient’s NHS electronic record so there is no need for further data entry
- Residents feel better cared for and more involved in their own care
- The tool provides a full digital clinical audit trail
As a result of Health Call Digital Care Home, I am called out less by the care staff when they are worried about a resident
Health Call Digital Care Home works with us and gets the information to where it needs to be without spending ages on the phone
Before Health Call, as nurses, we did not know what we were walking into, we just had been informed the patient was unwell. We now have good observational measurement and an outline from carers describing signs and symptoms.
The background information, such as how long the patient has been unwell is invaluable. It helps us as ANP staff to triage which patient we need to see first, this is especially important when there can be long distances between care homes.
When Mr X was unwell, I was able to reassure him and his family by recording his observations, once I have uploaded these and gave some background on how he was feeling, I received some feedback instructing me to take his temperature again and when to do this. He has recently finished antibiotics for a chest infection, and I thought it was starting again. The nurse came and prescribed a further course. Before Healthcall I would have had to either call for a GP or send him to hospital. Now he was able to be kept at home, where he and his family wanted him to be.