The arrival of the pandemic has limited the opportunity for face to face respiratory reviews. This article presents data on the challenges of delivering remote reviews.
How did it affect patient engagement?
What approaches and skills needed to be developed to deliver remote care during the pandemic?
In delivering remote reviews, what concerns were highlighted by health care professionals?
How did the remote format affect the delivery of appropriate clinical interventions identified during the review?
Read the article below in full to gain some insight on these important questions.
PCRS Poster Introductory Video
Interest in remote primary care has escalated by necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. We report on a clinical audit of a COPD patient review service both before and during the lockdown period, alongside insights from a Health Care Professional (HCP) educational webinar. The patient review service is funded by GSK, developed by ICS and GSK and delivered as a service to medicine by Interface Clinical Services Ltd. across the UK & NI to patients with COPD stratified according to recorded symptoms and exacerbations. Patient symptoms were assessed using the Medical Research Council (MRC) dyspnoea scale and COPD Assessment Test (CAT), a full history and inhaler technique when possible. Based on these assessments, pharmacists were then able to recommend appropriate non-pharmacological and pharmacological (at class level) interventions for GP review and approval.
These insights have been summarised in the poster embedded in this article and/or the 3 minute summary video above.
The comparative audit periods for GP practices are January 2019 to March 2020 (37,884 patients) for face to face (FTF) clinics, and April and May 2020 (2,364 patients) for remote clinics. Key observations include: 1. Elevated (+7%) rate of remote patient encounters per day; 2. Improved (53% FTF, 70% remote) appointment offer acceptance; 3. A reduction in the frequency of clinical interventions.
Two educational HCP webinars of the same content were delivered in April on the topic of “Best practice in delivery of remote consultations”. Webinars were attended by 1,323 participants, and content and associated Q&A were made available offline. From webinar poll responders, 83% rated the content as valuable and 44% scored that their confidence to deliver remote consultations had increased. An analysis of the Q&A indicated that the 3 most popular broad topics were consulting skills, inhaler technique and patient questionnaires.
This work highlighted the value of remote care for respiratory patients alongside providing insights on training needs. It offers a potentially efficient platform to improve patient choice and explore alternative approaches to patient access, not just during the pandemic but also in routine care.