This site is intended for health professionals only


GPs can request ‘daily list’ of Covid patients eligible for remote monitoring


oximetry


GP practices can now request a ‘daily list’ of patients eligible for remote pulse oximetry monitoring, NHS Digital has said.

As part of the Covid ‘Oximetry @home’ model, which should be in place across all CCGs ‘from the end of November’, NHS Digital added that it is also working on codes for GP IT systems.

Patients with coronavirus symptoms who are taking part in the scheme measure their oxygen saturation levels with a pulse oximeter three times and day and record this digitally or on paper for practice monitoring.

The pathway is open to patients who are diagnosed with coronavirus clinically or by positive test result and are symptomatic and over 65 or under 65 and clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid, NHS England said previously.

A recent NHS Digital bulletin sent to practice managers said: ‘All CCGs have been asked to establish a Covid Oximetry @home pathway from the end of November. 

‘We will be making available a daily list of coronavirus patients in your area who have tested positive and meet the recommended eligibility criteria, and will be collecting data from providers weekly for programme evaluation and management information purposes.’

An NHS Digital spokesperson told Pulse that providers of the service can now request and receive daily lists as of 18 December.

The bulletin added that NHS Digital is also ‘delivering data and digital architecture’, including the creation of SNOMED codes for recording activity in GP IT systems.

It said: ‘We have created new SNOMED codes – those of you using TPP SystmOne can already use these; we continue to work with other GP IT system providers to get them live in their systems too.’

The spokesperson added that the codes are now also available in Eva Evolution and that they will be live in across other IT suppliers ‘as soon as possible’.

And NHS Digital’s website said it is creating a dataset to be collected from providers for ‘evaluation and management information purposes’.

It is also ‘standardising’ templates to be used in GP systems, including updating systems ‘to make other services aware that a patient is being monitored’, it said.

This may include changes like adding a flag to the summary care record, NHS Digital added.

Last month, new guidance said patients being monitored as part of the scheme should call their GP if their oxygen saturation drops to 93% or 94%.

But GP leaders warned of the workload this could create for practices and that Covid patients whose oxygen saturation has dropped may be best seen in hospital.

In October, it was revealed that NHS England would make 200,000 pulse oximeters available to enable primary care practitioners to monitor high-risk Covid-19 patients remotely at home.

READERS' COMMENTS [1]

Patrufini Duffy 22 December, 2020 5:29 pm

GPs walking around town with oximeters. Buy the batteries en route. Next it will be pints of milk and nappies.