Home Community Alliston South Simcoe OHT implements COVID@Home and Heart Failure Remote Management Programs 

South Simcoe OHT implements COVID@Home and Heart Failure Remote Management Programs 

A South Simcoe Ontario Health Team (OHT) meeting takes place. Photo taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo submitted)


The South Simcoe Ontario Health Team (OHT) currently in development is implementing two new programs for the local community thanks to funding from Ontario Health: COVID@Home and Heart Failure Remote Management. Both programs focus on home monitoring of patients in an effort to improve outcomes and prevent or reduce volume in the hospital. 

COVID@Home supports patients 18 years and older who are COVID-positive with mild to moderate symptoms. Patients are provided with education around symptom monitoring and given an Oxygen Saturation monitor. Patients are to monitor their symptoms daily and check in with a nurse provided to them either through Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) or the Alliston Family Health Team (AFHT). If any symptoms escalate, the patient will be directed by the nurse to receive further care. 

The Heart Failure Remote Management program goes beyond traditional remote patient monitoring by merging an advanced and low-cost digital tool (called Medly, developed at the University Health Network) with clinical best practices to deliver a comprehensive model of heart failure care. Patients enter daily measurements of weight, blood pressure, heart rate and symptoms and receive instant feedback through the in-app Medly program. 

“These programs will not only benefit our community members, but also our hospital as we face challenges with patient volume and capacity as a result of COVID-19,” says President and CEO, SMH, Jody Levac. “The South Simcoe OHT is a great collaborative partnership that continues to serve our local community, providing health care services for those in need, close to home.” 

Patients will be identified for the program via a referral process through SMH and the AFHT (in ED/Inpatient Units, primary care offices or partnering OHT organizations). The monitoring will be a shared-care structure between the two organizations, with additional support provided by Matthews House Hospice community nurses, the Simcoe County Paramedic Program and CHATS for Recreation Therapy. 

“The Alliston Family Health Team is a proud partner in these initiatives that support the health care needs of our community,” says Nancy Russell, Executive Director, AFHT. “Our team has been supporting patients throughout the pandemic with various needs including COVID symptoms, so these programs will allow health care services to continue, while easing pressure on the health care system.”