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Elective recovery in the North West

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will use digital and data solutions to deliver an optimised and efficient surgical patient pathway. The hospitals’ plan considers all elements of the patient journey from outpatient booking and consent, through to management of patients on the day of surgery, discharge and beyond.

The introduction of voice recognition software in outpatient and elective areas will ensure that more patients can be seen at clinics. Improvement of patient communications tools will assist with timely and easily accessible communications. Patients will be able to use their preferred communication medium, greatly reducing the hospitals’ administrative burden and allowing more time for patient facing activities.

The surgical pathway will also be redesigned to incorporate technologies including Bluespier theatre management system.

Bluespier provides clinically driven software to improve theatre utilisation, enabling more operations to be carried out in a normal day. When fully integrated with the hospitals’ electronic patient record, it improves the data available to clinical teams managing all aspects of patient care. Danny Redfern, a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Royal Preston Major Trauma Centre, speaks of how transformative this software has been, turning a “nightmarish” process into “a thing of the past”.

In addition, eConsent is a digital solution which improves the documentation of the consent to treatment process. The Trust believes it will improve quality, save time and help provide consent forms which are better catered to the patient’s needs. Patients will also be provided with access to the information they need for the shared decision making process to make informed choices.

Other benefits expected to be seen include:

  • fully audited data and reporting tools will enable analysis of clinical practices
  • a reduction in the did not attend rate - this has been seen to be up to 28% in other organisations using improved communication tools
  • a reduction in hospital cancellations
  • a seamless transition of patients from one specialty to another, including a close alignment with orders and results so urgent treatment is highlighted sooner