June 26, 2024

The Benefits of Virtual Wards

Discover the benefits of virtual wards

Table of contents

Exploring the advantages of virtual wards

Virtual wards are revolutionising healthcare by allowing patients to receive hospital-level care at home. Leveraging advanced technology and comprehensive remote monitoring systems, virtual wards provide continuous, personalised care, leading to numerous benefits for patients, healthcare providers, and the wider healthcare system. The key benefits of the integration of virtual wards lay in a few key advantages of and their subsequent contributions to improving healthcare outcomes.

Enhanced Patient Outcomes:

One of the most significant benefits of virtual wards is the improvement in patient outcomes. Virtual wards enable continuous monitoring of patients’ health, allowing for early detection of potential issues and timely interventions. This proactive approach helps in managing chronic conditions more effectively and prevents complications.

For instance, Doccla’s virtual ward services have demonstrated substantial benefits. Patients monitored through Doccla’s platform have experienced a 29% reduction in emergency admissions and a 20% reduction in A&E attendances . Continuous monitoring and immediate response to health changes reduce the severity of conditions, leading to better overall health outcomes.

Increased Patient Comfort and Convenience: 

Hospital stays can be stressful and uncomfortable for patients. Virtual wards allow patients to receive necessary medical care in the comfort of their own homes, enhancing their overall well-being. This home-based care model reduces the psychological and physical stress associated with hospital environments.

Patients using virtual wards report higher satisfaction rates due to the convenience and personalised care they receive. Doccla’s services, for example, boast over 95% patient satisfaction rates, indicating that patients appreciate the comfort and familiarity of being treated at home .

Optimisation of Healthcare Resources: 

Virtual wards play a crucial role in optimising healthcare resources. By managing patients remotely, hospitals can free up beds and reduce the strain on emergency services. This optimisation is particularly beneficial in times of high demand, such as during a pandemic or seasonal flu outbreaks.

Doccla’s virtual ward has been shown to save significant clinical hours. For example, their respiratory pathways saved up to 10,500 clinical hours, and cardiology pathways saved 6,900 hours in 2023 . These savings allow healthcare providers to allocate resources more efficiently, focusing on patients who require in-hospital care.

Cost Savings:

Implementing virtual wards can lead to substantial cost savings for healthcare systems. By reducing hospital admissions and shortening the length of hospital stays, virtual wards decrease the financial burden on healthcare facilities. Additionally, remote monitoring can prevent complications that require expensive treatments.

Independent studies have validated the cost-effectiveness of virtual wards. For every £1 invested in Doccla’s virtual ward services, there is a return of £3.10 . This significant return on investment highlights the financial benefits of adopting virtual care models.

Quantifying the Cost-Saving Value of Doccla’s Virtual Ward Services

As healthcare systems worldwide grapple with increasing costs and resource constraints, virtual wards offer a promising solution for delivering efficient and cost-effective care. Doccla, a leader in virtual ward technology, has demonstrated significant cost-saving benefits through its comprehensive services. This blog post explores how Doccla quantifies the cost-saving value of its virtual ward services compared to traditional in-person hospital services.

Overview of Cost Savings with Doccla’s Virtual Ward

Doccla’s virtual ward services provide substantial cost savings by reducing hospital admissions, shortening lengths of stay, and minimising the need for in-person consultations. These savings are achieved through a combination of advanced remote monitoring technology, efficient resource utilisation, and proactive patient management.

Key Metrics for Cost Savings:

1. Reduction in Hospital Admissions

One of the primary ways Doccla quantifies cost savings is by reducing the number of hospital admissions. For instance, an independent NHS-funded study by the Kent Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) found that Doccla’s virtual ward services led to a 29% reduction in emergency admissions. Fewer hospital admissions translate directly into cost savings by reducing the demand for inpatient care and associated expenses.

2. Decreased Length of Stay

By enabling early discharge and providing continuous remote monitoring, Doccla’s virtual ward services help shorten the length of hospital stays. For example, the implementation of Doccla’s services at Northampton General Hospital resulted in a 30% reduction in bed days. Shorter hospital stays reduce costs related to bed occupancy, nursing care, and other inpatient services.

3. Avoidance of Emergency Department Visits

Doccla’s proactive monitoring and timely interventions help prevent unnecessary visits to the emergency department. Patients in Doccla’s virtual ward are monitored continuously, allowing healthcare providers to address health issues before they escalate into emergencies. This proactive approach led to a 20% reduction in A&E attendances for patients using Doccla’s services.

4. Efficient Use of Clinical Resources

Doccla’s virtual ward services optimise the use of clinical resources by reducing the need for in-person consultations and follow-ups. Remote monitoring allows healthcare providers to manage more patients effectively, freeing up time and resources for those who need in-person care. In 2023, Doccla’s respiratory pathways saved up to 10,500 clinical hours, and cardiology pathways saved 6,900 clinical hours, illustrating the significant resource optimisation achieved through virtual care.

5. Financial Return on Investment

An important metric for quantifying cost savings is the financial return on investment (ROI). Independent studies have shown that every £1 invested in Doccla’s virtual ward services yields a return of £3.10. This ROI reflects the cumulative savings from reduced hospital admissions, decreased lengths of stay, and optimised resource utilisation, demonstrating the financial benefits of adopting virtual care models.

Methodologies for Cost-Saving Analysis

1. Comparative Cost Analysis


Doccla conducts comparative cost analyses to evaluate the financial impact of its virtual ward services versus traditional in-person hospital care. This involves comparing costs associated with hospital admissions, bed occupancy, emergency visits, and in-person consultations before and after implementing Doccla’s services.

2. Independent Studies and Evaluations


Independent studies and evaluations by third-party organisations, such as the NHS and academic health science networks, provide objective assessments of the cost-saving benefits of Doccla’s virtual ward services. These studies validate Doccla’s claims and offer robust data to support the financial advantages of virtual care.

3. Case Studies and Real-World Data


Doccla utilises case studies and real-world data from its implementations across various healthcare settings to quantify cost savings. For example, data from Northampton General Hospital and other NHS trusts demonstrate tangible reductions in hospital admissions, bed days, and emergency visits, providing concrete evidence of the financial benefits.

4. Cost-Benefit Analysis


Cost-benefit analyses are conducted to weigh the costs of implementing and operating virtual ward services against the financial savings achieved. This analysis includes direct costs (such as equipment and software) and indirect costs (such as training and support) compared to the savings from reduced hospital utilisation and improved patient outcomes.

Real-World Examples of Cost Savings

Northampton General Hospital


  • 30% reduction in bed days
  • 97% patient satisfaction rate
  • Significant cost savings through reduced inpatient care

BLMK Integrated Care Board (ICB)


  • 29% reduction in emergency admissions
  • 20% reduction in A&E attendances
  • £3.10 return on every £1 invested

Respiratory and Cardiology Pathways (2023)


  • Respiratory pathways saved up to 10,500 clinical hours
  • Cardiology pathways saved 6,900 clinical hours
  • £1,863 cost saved per patient on respiratory pathways
  • £2,725 cost saved per patient on cardiology pathways

Testimonials Highlighting Cost Savings

Patient Testimonial: “I’ve been able to manage my chronic condition from home, which has significantly reduced my trips to the hospital. The support from Doccla’s team has been excellent, and I feel much more in control of my health.” – John M., Patient

Healthcare Provider Testimonial: “Doccla’s virtual ward has helped us reduce the number of emergency admissions and bed days significantly. The cost savings are substantial, and we can now allocate our resources more efficiently.” – Dr. Sarah L., Cardiologist

Health System Testimonial: “Implementing Doccla’s virtual ward has resulted in considerable cost savings for our hospital. The reduced demand for inpatient care and emergency visits has allowed us to optimise our resources and improve patient outcomes.” – David R., NHS Trust Manager

Enhanced Patient Engagement and Adherence: 

Virtual wards utilise digital tools and platforms that engage patients in their care. These tools provide education, reminders, and self-management resources, empowering patients to take an active role in managing their health. Increased patient engagement leads to better adherence to treatment plans and improved health outcomes.

Doccla’s platform, for instance, offers multi-language support and intuitive devices, ensuring that patients from diverse backgrounds can effectively use the system. This inclusive approach fosters higher compliance and engagement rates, contributing to better health management and outcomes.

Improved Access to Healthcare: 

Virtual wards enhance access to healthcare, especially for individuals in remote or underserved areas. By leveraging telemedicine and remote monitoring, patients can receive high-quality care without the need to travel long distances to healthcare facilities. This improved access is particularly beneficial for patients with mobility issues or those living in rural areas.

Virtual wards also support the continuity of care for patients who may otherwise face challenges in accessing regular medical consultations. The convenience of virtual consultations and monitoring ensures that patients remain connected to their healthcare providers, receiving timely and appropriate care.

Flexibility and Scalability: 

Virtual wards offer a flexible and scalable solution for healthcare providers. The technology can be tailored to meet the specific needs of different patient populations and clinical pathways. Whether managing chronic conditions, post-operative care, or acute illnesses, virtual wards can be adapted to provide the necessary level of care.

Doccla’s virtual ward platform is designed to be highly adaptable, with low-code customisation options that support a wide range of monitoring needs. This flexibility allows healthcare providers to deploy virtual wards across various clinical settings efficiently, ensuring comprehensive care delivery .

Enhanced Data Collection and Integration: 

Virtual wards facilitate the collection of real-time health data, which can be integrated into electronic health records (EHRs) and other healthcare systems. This seamless data integration provides healthcare providers with comprehensive insights into a patient’s health status, enabling more informed decision-making.

Doccla’s platform integrates seamlessly with NHS systems like SystmOne, Cerner, and EMIS, ensuring that health data is accurately recorded and easily accessible to healthcare professionals. This integration supports continuous monitoring and timely interventions, improving overall care coordination and outcomes .

Regulatory Compliance and Data Security: 

Ensuring patient data security and regulatory compliance is crucial in virtual care. Virtual ward providers like Doccla implement stringent security measures, including ISO 27001 certification and compliance with NHS Digital’s standards. These measures ensure that patient data is protected, and healthcare providers can trust that their systems meet the necessary legal and ethical guidelines.

Doccla’s platform also undergoes regular security assessments and employs advanced encryption methods to safeguard patient information. This commitment to data security enhances patient trust and ensures the safe handling of sensitive health data  .

The benefits of virtual wards are manifold, ranging from improved patient outcomes and increased comfort to significant cost savings and enhanced resource optimisation. By leveraging advanced technology and comprehensive remote monitoring systems, virtual wards provide a sustainable and effective solution to modern healthcare challenges. As healthcare systems continue to evolve, the adoption of virtual wards will play a crucial role in delivering high-quality, patient-centred care, ensuring better health outcomes and a more efficient healthcare system overall.

Doccla’s success in implementing virtual wards highlights the transformative potential of this model, paving the way for broader adoption and integration into mainstream healthcare practices. The continuous development and refinement of virtual ward technologies promise even greater benefits in the future, making healthcare more accessible, efficient, and patient-friendly.


Simao Saco

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