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Telemedical cardiac monitoring service is highlighted in Darzi report

Broomwell Healthwatch : 16 July, 2008  (Company News)
Broomwell’s telemedical cardiac monitoring service has been highlighted in Lord Darzi’s NHS Next Stage Review Report as an example of how to give patients effective and convenient care closer to home.
The company’s award-winning telemedical ECG service is deployed in GP surgeries and health centres across the North West of England and around the country, giving patients easy access to ECG tests, meaning they receive timely, convenient and, even, preventative care.

Lord Darzi’s report, which advises on how to meet the challenges of delivering health care over the next decade, endorses the concept of providing patients with convenient care closer to home.

The Darzi report highlights how latest trials of Broomwell’s cardiac monitoring service, carried out by NHS North West, have demonstrated the benefits of allowing patients to receive expert ECG diagnoses within a primary care setting, avoiding unnecessary referrals to hospital Outpatients or A and E.

Joe Rafferty, NHS North West director of Commissioning and Strategy, said: “The pilots carried out across northern England demonstrate the clear benefits telemedicine can bring to both patients and the NHS. Lord Darzi’s report recognises these benefits and realises there is much to be gained by the NHS working in partnership with the providers of such services. It is inevitable that this technology and service will soon become commonplace and a part of primary care provision.”

NHS North West has completed two telemedicine trials in conjunction with Lancashire and South Cumbria (LSC) Cardiac Network and Greater Manchester and Cheshire (GM and C) Cardiac Network to evaluate the effectiveness of cardiac telemedicine within primary care.

The six-month pilot across Lancashire and South Cumbria demonstrated potential savings of 90,000 A and E visits, 45,000 hospital admissions with an estimated minimum saving to the NHS of 46 million per year. The 12-month pilot across Greater Manchester covering 3,732 patients showed that approximately 2,180 (64 percent) would have been referred to hospital if the telemedical ECG service had not been available.

According to Broomwell, translated nationally, across some 10,500 surgeries, this equates to 432,000 referrals prevented per annum and, with the saved referrals to A and E, the figures amount to 520,000 saved referrals with a financial saving of some 100m annually.

Joshua Rowe, chief executive officer for Broomwell Healthwatch, said: “Everyone is looking for ways to bring patient care closer to home. Our telemedical ECG service effectively imports ECG expertise into every surgery, meaning patients with chest-pain symptoms don’t have to go back and forth to hospital and wait weeks for a test result. Our service means they are diagnosed on the spot - making it more convenient and less stressful for them. I believe that if rolled out on a national level, telemedical ECGs could transform the model of cardiac care across the country.”

Clinicians at the surgery or walk-in centre record an ECG on a patient then transmit it, via a telephone, to Broomwell’s call centre where an expert team is available 24/7 to give an immediate verbal interpretation of the results, followed, within minutes, by an emailed or faxed written report.
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