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St Luke’s Hospice utilizes technology to provide high quality end of life care at home

08 March 2016

A pioneering new project at St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield allows a senior nurse or doctor to remotely monitor multiple patients in their own homes and provide direction to the community nurses who are at a patient's home.

St Luke’s is the only British palliative care centre taking part in the international EnComPaSS (Enhanced Community Palliative Support Services) project, aimed at providing greater levels of end of life care for patients in their own homes.

Using secure tablet computers and software instead of paper-based systems, nurses capture patient clinical data at the patient’s bedside, and can review the data via an online dashboard, thereby improving communication and the quality of shared information across the service.

"Using EnComPaSS, St Luke’s community nurses really become the eyes, hands and ears of the senior nurse," explains Dr Sam Kyeremateng, St Luke’s medical director.

"We believe that this new approach will improve the quality of care for some of Sheffield’s most vulnerable end of life patients, reduce admissions and unnecessary visits to hospital, and help more patients to stay at home."

It has been estimated that EnComPaSS could reduce the need for hospital admissions by between 40% and 52%.

The EnComPaSS project follows a successful pilot scheme in Canada and has been developed by a partnership between St Luke’s, Western University in Canada, Sensory Technologies of Canada and the University of Sheffield – a partner in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, Yorkshire and Humber (CLAHRCs).

The partnership was awarded £250,000 from the NHS England Nursing Technology Fund to develop the technology and training required to fully integrate the scheme, which has now gone live throughout Sheffield.

"The majority of our care is delivered out in the community and at any given time our community nurses have a case load of about 300 patients across the whole of the city," said Judith Park, St Luke’s deputy chief executive and director of patient care.

"This system allows our community team to work closely with day care services and bring together medical, nursing, healthcare professionals and support teams all working towards one goal, enabling people to die with dignity in familiar surroundings."

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