Staff experiences of training and delivery of remote home monitoring services for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in England: A mixed-methods study

Manbinder Sidhu, Holly Walton, Nadia Crellin, Jo Ellins, Lauren Herlitz, Ian Litchfield, Efthalia Massou, Sonila M Tomini, Cecilia Vindrola-Padros, Naomi J Fulop

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Remote home monitoring services for patients at risk of rapid deterioration introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic had important implications for the health workforce. This study explored the nature of 'work' that health care staff in England undertook to manage patients with COVID-19 remotely, how they were supported to deliver these new services, and the factors that influenced delivery of COVID-19 remote home monitoring services for staff.

METHODS: We conducted a rapid mixed-methods evaluation of COVID-19 remote home monitoring services during November 2020 to July 2021 using a cross-sectional survey of a purposive sample of staff involved in delivering the service (clinical leads, frontline delivery staff and those involved in data collection and management) from 28 sites across England. We also conducted interviews with 58 staff in a subsample of 17 sites. Data collection and analysis were carried out in parallel. We used thematic analysis to analyse qualitative data while quantitative survey data were analysed using descriptive statistics.

RESULTS: A total of 292 staff responded to the surveys (39% response rate). We found that prior experience of remote monitoring had some, albeit limited benefit for delivering similar services for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Staff received a range of locally specific training and clinical oversight along with bespoke materials and resources. Staff reported feeling uncertain about using their own judgement and being reliant on seeking clinical oversight. The experience of transitioning from face-to-face to remote service delivery led some frontline delivery staff to reconsider their professional role, as well as their beliefs around their own capabilities. There was a general perception of staff being able to adapt, acquire new skills and knowledge and they demonstrated a commitment to continuity of care for patients, although there were reports of struggling with the increased accountability and responsibility attached to their adapted roles at times.

CONCLUSIONS: Remote home monitoring models can play an important role in managing a large number of patients for COVID-19 and possibly a range of other conditions. Successful delivery of such service models depends on staff competency and the nature of training received to facilitate effective care and patient engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Services Research & Policy
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Humans
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • England

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