St Luke’s Hospice uses tablet computers to help patients at home

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A Sheffield hospice is taking part in an international project which aims to provide better end-of-life care to patients in their homes.

St Luke’s Hospice, in Parkhead, is the only British palliative care centre involved in the EnComPaSS – Enhanced Community Palliative Support Services – project.

It follows a pilot scheme in Canada which demonstrated a new way of providing effective and cost-efficient care for patients and their families in their own homes by using tablet computers.

Those behind EnComPaSS hope it could reduce the need for hospital admissions in England by between 40 and 52 per cent. And by providing high quality palliative care in the community it could help more people to die with dignity in a place of their choosing.

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

“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.”

EnComPaSS allows one senior nurse or doctor to monitor multiple patients in their own homes from a remote setting, providing direction to St Luke’s community nurses who are in the patient’s home, working with the patients and their families.

Nurses capture clinical data at the patient’s bedside, and can review the data online, thereby improving communication and the quality of shared information.

EnComPaSS is a partnership between St Luke’s, Western University in Canada, Sensory Technologies of Canada and the University of Sheffield.