Vygon’s Accufuser pumps save Trusts money by keeping patients happy in and out of hospital
A nursing team has saved its Trust £1.7m through a pioneering initiative to deliver antibiotic therapies to patients in their own homes.
The innovative approach using Vygon’s Accufuser elastomeric pumps has been recognised in national healthcare awards1 as well as being featured in a dedicated article in the Nursing Times.2
The nurses who developed the system report that patients love it as it keeps them out of hospital, for some this would have meant a six week stay. Plus the initiative has generated savings on the costs for care, travel and nursing intervention time.
The approach developed by the Hospital at Home team at the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust makes use of the Accufuser pumps, which are filled with a day’s worth of the required antibiotic therapy.
In the Nursing Times2 article, Gemma Oliver Nurse Consultant in IV Care and Senior Surgical Matron describes the process.
“The drugs that we put into the pumps are flucoxacillin, tazocin and ceftazidime, so it is basically anybody who requires those antibiotics,” explains Gemma.
“It could be someone with a bronchiecstatis or a discitis – people who would normally have to stay in hospital. Previously, they would be on four-times-day antibiotics, but we just fill the pump with one day’s worth, attach it to the patient and send them home.”
The IV pump is then changed once a day by a nurse and patients can get help round the clock if there is an issue.
Gemma adds: “The nurse then advises over the phone or makes the decision to bring the patient back in. Because the patients under the service are still classed as acute inpatients, they don’t have go through A&E, they can just come straight back in to a bed.”
Gemma describes to Nursing Times2 how thousands of people have benefitted from the service, which costs about £70 per patient per day compared with an estimated £250 per person per night cost of staying in hospital. The trust estimates that the approach has helped it save more than £1.7m during 2016-17 alone.
She also said that users rated the service very highly, with pretty much all – 98% – scoring it five out of five in patient satisfaction surveys.
As a result of the Trust’s success which resulted in the Hospital at Home team winning the IV Nurse of the Year category at British Journal of Nursing Awards last
year, Gemma says has received numerous enquiries from other NHS trusts interested in doing the approach.
1. British Journal of Nursing Awards 2018, Hospital at Home team was the winner of the IV Nurse of the Year category
2. Nursing Times, 27 April 2018
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