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Burton hospital to avoid discharge delays with patient flow technology

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Healthcare professionals at Queen’s Hospital Burton will be better placed to get patients home safely and as early as possible, whilst freeing up urgently needed capacity, with the help of a technology soon to be deployed.

Following the success of the ExtraMed Patient Flow solution at Royal Derby Hospital, where staff have reduced lengths of stay and enhanced care for patients, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB) is to rollout the same system to wards across its Burton site.

The system will provide instant visibility of patients’ status to staff on wards, to teams working hospital-wide, and to senior leaders, replacing manual whiteboards and processes with an intuitive digital solution that improves patient experience and helps staff make safer informed decisions.

Gill Ogden, director of nursing at the trust, said: “Staff are really excited about this technology coming to Burton, where we expect immediate differences for discharge and overall patient flow, with lots more functionality we will explore over time.

“Clinical teams at Royal Derby Hospital have really valued having information at a glance, and improved communication that ExtraMed has supported. Nurses on wards in Burton will too be able to quickly see what is happening with the patient, and what needs to happen to prevent delays in patients going home.

“That’s the right thing for many reasons. We operate a very busy hospital, and we need to free up space for patients coming in. And when patients stay in hospital for longer than they need, that isn’t good for them – with older patients experiencing deconditioning. If patients are ready to go home, that’s where we should be getting them.”

An agreement with ExtraMed, which is owned by smart health tech provider Alcidion, will see staff at Queen’s Hospital Burton using the technology to help to manage the patient journey more efficiently across the hospital, from admissions and ward transfers through to discharge. The ExtraMed system will provide staff with actionable real-time holistic visibility of patient flow.

Doctors, nurses and other clinical staff will draw on the technology to deliver joined-up care; whilst management will have better visibility of bed capacity, the ability to identify bottlenecks, and the information available to plan resources more efficiently and effectively.

Ogden added: “Beyond staff on individual wards, bed managers can quickly identify available beds. And as a senior nurse, if I do a ward walk, I will look at ExtraMed to see which patients have a longer length of stay and ask colleagues about those patients, so I can understand why delays are happening – whether that’s because hospital is the right place for a complex patient, or if there are delays in the healthcare system that we can do something about.

“Teams like pharmacy and physiotherapy that work across wards can see where their patients are with ease. The discharge team can see which patients are medically fit for discharge and make necessary arrangements both within the hospital, and for more complex discharges, with social services, for example.

“This is about making sure everything is done to get patients home safely. This will help us to reduce delays and lengths of stay. Patients on emergency pathways are less likely to wait longer than necessary. And we will be able to get more elective patients in for procedures – which given the national elective backlog, is more important than ever.”

Queen’s Hospital Burton has been part of UHDB since 2018, one of the largest NHS trusts serving a population of more than one million across Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

It employs 13,000 staff and provides clinical services in 48 specialties via two acute and three community hospitals.

Healthcare professionals at Royal Derby Hospital first started using ExtraMed’s patient flow software in 2013; and the system was extended to GPs, social care and community nursing in 2017.

Susan Say, managing director of ExtraMed, an Alcidion Group company, said: “Healthcare professionals in Derby have been visionary in their thinking. They have made our patient flow technology a success from the beginning, going from strength to strength on medical and surgical wards, and then by rolling out to the community teams and GP practices.

“We have worked closely with the trust to support its vision to have a technically advanced environment and build on its achievements. Investment in healthcare technology was a key driver of the trust plans to support improved patient care. I look forward to seeing the benefits transferred to staff and patients in Burton.”

ExtraMed’s patient flow system is expected to be deployed at Queen’s Hospital Burton in early 2022.

ExtraMed provides patient flow solutions in the UK for the NHS. The company was acquired in April 2021 by Alcidion, a smart health technology company known in the UK for its Miya Precision, Patientrack and Smartpage solutions.

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