Pulse oximetry to detect early deterioration of patients with COVID-19 in primary and community care settings
COVID Oximetry @home involves the remote monitoring of patients with coronavirus symptoms. Patients use a pulse oximeter, a small monitor clipped to their finger, to measure their oxygen saturation levels three times a day.
They record their results using one of the following:
- smartphone app
- web portal
- paper diary
The paper-based option is available at all sites for patients who are uncomfortable with or unable to use a digital solution to record their readings.
Patients are supported by clinical staff locally, so that if they need further treatment they can be admitted to hospital at the right time.
When a patient contacts the GP practice or NHS Digital data is shared advising of a COVID positive diagnosis, and the clinician feels that the patient might benefit from home monitoring, they would then arrange for a pulse oximeter and associated paperwork to be delivered to the patient’s home (may be collected by a family member / carer / friend or sent via taxi/courier).
This will enable primary care practitioners to monitor high-risk Covid-19 patients remotely at home, facilitate early detection of deterioration and silent hypoxia.
The COVID Oximetry @home pathway will be available to people who are:
i. Diagnosed with COVID-19: either clinically or positive test result AND
ii. Symptomatic AND EITHER
iii. Aged 65 years or older OR
iv. Under 65 years and clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID. (The Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to COVID list should be used as the primary guide. Clinical judgement can apply and take into account multiple additional COVID risk factors; for the most part, it is anticipated that this will already have led to inclusion on the CEV list. National criteria for inclusion on the CEV list are set and updated by the Government)
v. BAME risk group
vi. As per clinician’s discretion based on clinical risk
The national support offer, including oximeter supply, is targeted at this defined cohort.