Focus on COPD: Improving quality of life in the Highlands
OPD – Supporting patients to take personal responsibility
You may have previously read the inspirational report published by NHS Highland providing a comprehensive analysis of Flo’s impact across a number of services throughout the Highlands region, including hypertension, asthma, low FODMAP diet and weight loss.
Feedback around NHS Highland’s COPD pathway has been fantastic. Patients interacted with Flo and as a result felt supported to take personal responsibility for their health, which in turn improved their quality of life through better self-management. We would therefore like to share a more in-depth focus on this area with you.
NHS Highlands developed a local COPD pathway towards the end of 2016 incorporating Flo, which was specifically developed to help improve their patients motivation and confidence to self-manage. Flo interacts with patients with support and advice, whilst providing the opportunity for them to participate in remote monitoring of their COPD by bringing their electronic action plan to life.
When patients report readings to Flo, her responses are based on the Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) COPD Traffic Lights. For example, if a patient who uses Flo reports that they are currently within a ‘red traffic light’ based on their SATS and symptoms readings, Flo will prompt the patient to take their rescue medication and to confirm that the action has been taken. As the patient confirms via Flo, a notification will be sent to the clinician informing them that the patient has initiated their treatment.
A number of anticipated outcomes were identified at the start of the project, including:
It was also acknowledged that achieving these outcomes would contribute significantly to improved cost effectiveness, access to services and staff engagement, as well as reduced waiting times for patients.
Feedback gathered by NHS Highlands was overwhelmingly positive, from both clinicians and patients alike.
In addition to these comments, NHS Highland also utilised Flo and traditional paper questionnaires to collect evaluation data at the end of the protocol, finding that:
As well as producing their own evaluation of Flo services, NHS Highlands approach was also included in Service Evaluation by Dr Maria Wolters, Edinburgh University, which focused on telehealth use for COPD, Asthma & Heart Failure. The evaluation found evidence that the COPD pathway integrating Flo:
If you would like to take an in-depth look at Dr Wolter’s Service Evaluation, then click here.