Using video consultation technology between care homes and health and social care professionals: a scoping review and interview study during COVID-19 pandemic

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Abstract

Background
the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected care home residents’ and staffs’ access to health care and advice. Health and social care professionals adapted rapidly to using video consultation (videoconferencing) technology without guidance. We sought to identify enablers and barriers to their use in supporting care home residents and staff.

Methods
a scoping review of the evidence on remote consultations between healthcare services and care homes. Interviews with English health and social care professionals about their experiences during the pandemic. Findings were synthesised using the non-adoption, abandonment, scale-up, spread, sustainability framework.

Results
18 papers were included in the review. Twelve interviews were completed. Documented enablers and barriers affecting the uptake and use of technology (e.g. reliable internet; reduced travelling) resonated with participants. Interviews demonstrated rapid, widespread technology adoption overcame barriers anticipated from the literature, often strengthening working relationships with care homes. Novel implementation issues included using multiple platforms and how resident data were managed. Healthcare professionals had access to more bespoke digital platforms than their social care counterparts. Participants alternated between platforms depending on individual context or what their organisation supported. All participants supported ongoing use of technologies to supplement in-person consultations.

Conclusions
the evidence on what needs to be in place for video consultations to work with care homes was partly confirmed. The pandemic context demolished many documented barriers to engagement and provided reassurance that residents’ assessments were possible. It exposed the need to study further differing resident requirements and investment in digital infrastructure for adequate information management between organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberafab279
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2022

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