ECG On-Demand has won the 2021 EMIS Healthcare Patient Partner of the Year Award for its work with the GP Federation, GP Health Partners, during the Pandemic.

A big thank you to Jamie Wright, Katherine Rush & Dr. Hilary Floyd @ GP Health Partners who put their trust in us and acted as the patient facing portion of the service.

Not only did the service reduce hospital footfall, it reduced patient waiting times to less than pre-COVID -19 levels and was delivered at less than the standard NHS cost for ambulatory ECG Holter monitoring.

Award Entry and Case Study:

ECG On-Demand is a CQC inspected healthcare provider supplying hospital grade non-invasive cardiology testing, to NHS primary care. The service is accessed directly from EMISWeb. 12-lead ECG interpretation and Holter analysis are delivered remotely using a hybrid approach of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and human cardiology expertise. A.I. increases efficiency, improving diagnostic precision, reducing waiting times and lowering costs.

12-lead ECG and Holter are the first-line tests for arrhythmia diagnosis. In 2019, approximately 2M 12-lead ECGs and 0.5M Holter studies were performed by the NHS.

The impact of the pandemic in March 2020, with associated social distancing measures, resulted in the suspension of routine hospital cardiology diagnostics. Hospitals needed to limit outpatient clinics and patients were reluctant to attend.  Many requiring these diagnostics were also in ‘at risk’ groups, so it was imperative to find an alternative pathway to deliver care.

Our work with GP Health Partners Ltd (GPHP) provides an example of how connected digital diagnostics has maintained patient care during COVID-19.   GPHP is a Federation owned by 19 GP practices in the Surrey Downs locality. They have been providing community cardiology services in partnership with ECG On-Demand since 2017.  A recognised benefit of the service is that cardiology expertise (usually only found in hospitals) is available at any point-of-care. Reports prepared by UK based Cardiac Physiologists are written in GP friendly language, including an actionable traffic light risk rating.

In August 2020 an acute care trust, being aware of GPHP’s community cardiology services, approached them to assist in reducing their increasing backlog of patients.  In September 2020, the hospital contracted GPHP in partnership with ECG On-Demand, to deliver Holter services, on their behalf.

The hospital and GPHP elected to use ECG On-Demand’s Holter self-test kits.  These were distributed using a combination of mail order and drive through (“Click and Collect”) methods.  This allowed patients to undergo heart monitoring within their home without attending hospital. Interestingly, the time to diagnosis for patients was reduced to below the hospital’s pre-COVID-19 service delivery times (ECG-OD average reporting turnaround time < 6 hours).

This service continues to prove popular with patients and staff alike.  To date, patients aged from 18 to 92 have successfully fitted the device themselves, supported with step-by-step guides.  This simple, easy, effective process ensures an enviably low 2.6% re-test rate.

GP’s can screen appropriate patients and book directly into a shared diary on the community version of EMIS operated by the Federation. The speed of reporting from ECG On-Demand means patients can discuss results promptly with their doctor.  The integration of the reports into EMIS and the ability to share these with secondary care, makes this a seamless process.

This is a great example of aligning resources to adapt to new ways of working, whilst putting patients’ needs first.

During 2020, Holter monitoring on behalf of the NHS by ECG On-Demand increased four-fold. Customers now include high-profile Teaching Hospitals with the service performing 1 in 12 of all NHS ambulatory ECG tests and growing.