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Tech adoption to decrease outpatient backlog



The University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust (UHD) has partnered with Intouch with Health to reduce backlogged outpatient appointments – including launching a remote outpatient clinic in a department store.

Technology supplied by the digital patient flow management specialist will play a key role in managing the data for patients from the Trust’s Royal Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Hospitals who attend its remote outpatient clinic at Beales Department Store in Poole.

The adoption of the patient flow management software forms part of the Trust’s ‘Think BIG’ project to 

Mark Mould, chief operating officer at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As part of a wider programme of innovations for our elective recovery, UHD has developed plans to run outpatient appointments in a completely different way, taking over a floor of a large department store in the Dolphin Shopping Mall in Poole.

“This Think Big project is a novel and ambitious transformation plan to provide high volume, low complexity face-to-face outpatient appointments, using processes developed from the running of the mass vaccine centres.

“The remote outpatient clinic at Beales is one initiative making up the Think BIG project designed to tackle this backlog.  

“Integration of patient data and efficient and effective patient flow management is key to this idea working efficiently, and we are pleased to be partnering with Intouch with Health to help us make it happen.”

Mr Mould continued: “Our waiting list across Dorset is around 110,000 patients and we know how long some have been waiting. We are determined to do everything we can to help work through our waiting list as quickly as possible. By thinking ‘big’, and differently, UHD is looking at innovative ways to reduce the lengthy elective care waiting lists.”

The project scope involves the launch of Intouch with Health’s patient Flow Manager dashboard – a central, digital dashboard accessed by staff for an oversight of each patient while their appointment is in session – and its Wait Time Manager, Patient Check-in and Patient Calling modules.

The launch of Intouch’s Mobile Appointment Manager at the Trust will also allow outpatients to check in for a scheduled appointment using their smartphone or tablet when they arrive, supporting social distancing and infection control measures while providing patients with extra convenience and choice when arriving on site.

Peter Beaumont, sales director at Intouch with Health, said: “Integration is key to the success of this initiative and staff across the whole trust need to access a single view of all outpatient appointments and associated patient information at any given time across the four sites.

“Intouch was already live at Poole Hospital, however the trust has since merged with Bournemouth which uses a different PAS, to form University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust. 

“As a result, we have integrated both patient administration systems to simultaneously manage data from outpatients who attend a remote appointment at Beales department store and those who attend a hospital site for their appointment.”

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