Patient flows and capacity planning across Outpatients and Radiology services. The project went live in OPD in 2 stages, May 2011 and July 2012 Approximate outpatient appointments per day: 1,800
The Patient Check-in, Clarity and Clarion modules have been deployed in the main Atrium at the University Hospital North Midlands with around 200 concurrent users regularly accessing the solution. Six floor mount kiosks are deployed and there is a team of volunteers who work with the patients. There are no reception staff working in the main OPD entrance area.
Patients check in for their appointment which may be in Outpatients, or in Radiology. The kiosk software recognises why a patient has come to Royal Stoke and directs them accordingly.
Prior to deploying the Savience solution, all patients waited in the main waiting area until they were called in batches via a tannoy to the sub-wait areas and consulting rooms. They were then required to check in at the individual clinic reception areas and subsequently wait again until the clinical team were ready to see them. This led to frustration for patients and made it difficult to manage patient whereabouts.
The system was initially installed in the old UHNS hospital for twelve months prior to moving to the new location. Deploying the Savience modules enabled the original working and waiting practices to be superseded, even with the constraints that the older buildings presented.
This helped to address the waiting and queuing inefficiencies, and enabled blue prints to be developed in time for the move to the new hospital in July 2012.
All patients attending the new hospital arrive into 1 main atrium. Six floor mount kiosks have been installed, along with large format screens, which display waiting times for each clinic.
Rapid check in is vital as the kiosks handle on average 2,200 patients daily for OPD and Radiology appointments. Volunteers help with arrivals and the system handles all aspects of the patient flow away from the atrium into the 20 wait and sub wait areas located either in OPD or Radiology.
Sub wait areas are pre-filled with patients by the solution, which automatically calls new patient through to fill spaces only when they become available. Careful analysis of the numbers of patients and accompanying relatives was undertaken to ensure that the pre-filling of sub wait areas was accurately predicted. Patients are subsequently called from the waiting areas into the appropriate clinic room.
Wireless, computers on wheels (COWs) are used by nursing staff to provide an up to date view of each clinic progress and reach patients whereabouts.
Patient flow is far smoother and calmer than previously. Patient overcrowding and frustrating bottlenecks have been removed. Clinical staff now know where each patient in on the stages of their clinic visit. Nursing and administrative time is now more focused on providing care.
Real-time bi-directional HL7 interfaces have been implemented at UHNM to link the hospital’s iPM Patient Administration System (PAS) and the CRIS Radiology System (RIS) with the Check-in module. This means that when a patient arrives,
an ADT message is sent back to either PAS or RIS, updating it with the patient’s arrival details in real time. Similarly, any changes made in the PAS or RIS, for example to appointment times, are immediately reflected in the Check-in module to ensure the data is up-to-date when the patient arrives.
Mr Steven Casbolt, Transformation Projects Manager – Clinical Support Services
Royal Stoke University Hospital,
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Newcastle Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 6QG
Tel: 01782 676 156