Health Call app to support northern data initiative

Health Call, a collaboration between seven NHS Foundation Trusts in the North East and North Cumbria, will be providing its Digital Care Home app to support a northern data initiative in care homes.

The project forms part of the Northern Better Care Partnership, which brings together experts from universities and NHS Trusts, aiming to use data and analytical tools to address many challenges in the sector.

The app enables care home staff to refer patients’ details to clinical teams using a website or app and it is also used for routine monitoring and earlier identification of deterioration by capturing regular observations to determine ‘the norm’ for residents.

Over the next three years, researchers will use the data collected from Health Call’s Digital Care Home app to evaluate the impact of the technology on residents, staff, services and costs.

The information from the app is hoped to reduce unnecessary transport and admission to hospital for residents. Additional research will establish how clinical and care staff adapt to using the app and whether there are aspects of it that can facilitate wider take up.

Graham King, Director at Health Call and CIO at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT, said “At a time when being digitally-connected is of the utmost importance both in our professional and personal lives, health data projects such as this have the potential to make a real difference to the way we deliver vital care services across the North.”

“The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in the need for rapid adaptation within the health and social care system, specifically in relation to digital tools available to the care sector.”

“The Health Call Digital Care Home service is a proven solution that has already impacted on patient care and service efficiencies in care homes across the region. It’s thanks to the scale of the HCDCH project and the functionality of the technology to collect data which can be easily aggregated across systems, that the Northern Better Care Partnership research project is possible.”

The partnership is supported by a £1.2m investment from HDR UK and £2.2m from partner institutions.