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Virtual Wards

The Care of Hospital, the Comfort of Home

Welcome to the SVUH Virtual Ward information page. As one of the two pilot hospitals for this innovative HSE initiative, along with University Hospital Limerick, we are excited to offer a new way for respiratory and cardiology patients to receive hospital-level care from the comfort of their own homes.

What is a Virtual Ward?

A Virtual Ward allows suitable patients to receive necessary care at home instead of in the hospital. Utilising advanced technology, Virtual Wards support patients by providing remote monitoring and treatment while keeping them under the care of their hospital team.

Who is eligible for the Virtual Ward?

Your care team may suggest the Virtual Ward if:

  • You are hospitalised with specific cardiovascular or respiratory conditions.
  • Your condition can be safely managed at home with remote monitoring.

What happens if I am suitable for the Virtual Ward?

Your care team will discuss the Virtual Ward with you and your family or carer. You can ask any questions and decide if you want to participate. If you prefer not to, you will continue to receive care in the hospital as per your agreed care plan. You can also opt-out of the Virtual Ward anytime and return to the hospital by speaking with your care team.

Moving to the Virtual Ward

Once you decide to join the Virtual Ward, your consultant and care team will create a personalised care plan for you, involving your family or carer as needed. You will receive a Virtual Ward technology kit, including monitoring devices and a mobile phone or tablet to measure vital signs such as temperature and blood pressure. The Virtual Ward team will teach you and your family how to use these devices before you leave the hospital.

Receiving care on the Virtual Ward

The Virtual Ward team will explain how your care will be managed at home, monitoring your health 24/7. You will answer health questionnaires and check your vital signs using the app on the provided phone or tablet. The information will be sent to your care team, who will contact you if there are any concerns. You will also be contacted at least twice daily and you can reach out to the team anytime.

Changing your Care Plan

Your care plan can be adjusted without returning to the hospital. Medication changes or additional equipment can be arranged as needed. The Virtual Ward team will manage all prescriptions and coordinate any necessary hospital visits, ensuring you return home as soon as possible.

Using the monitoring kit

The Virtual Ward Care Team will guide you on using each device, which also comes with instructions and tutorial videos in the app. If you encounter any issues, please contact the Technology Provider Customer Services at 01 223 8858.

Duration of Stay

Your stay in the Virtual Ward depends on your health condition and care needs. Most patients are discharged in less than seven days. When you no longer need hospital care, you will be discharged and the monitoring kit will be returned following provided instructions.

Leaving home while in the Virtual Ward

It is recommended to stay home, but if you need to leave, inform the Virtual Ward team. Avoid driving while receiving Virtual Ward care. You may stay at a friend or family member’s house but must notify the team.

Risks and benefits

While the Virtual Ward is new to Ireland, it has shown positive results in other countries. Potential risks include technical issues with monitoring equipment and health deterioration. However, the team is prepared to handle these situations promptly.

Anticipated Benefits

  • Enhanced recovery in a familiar environment
  • Higher satisfaction with care
  • Lower risk of hospital-acquired infections
  • Reduced travel costs
  • Less likelihood of another inpatient stay

Emergency Situations

For urgent concerns, contact the Virtual Ward team via phone or the app. In life-threatening situations, call 112 or 999.

Contact Us

Email: Phone: 01 221 5544

We look forward to providing you with the best possible care through our Virtual Ward at SVUH.