Two cancer treatment centres in the north west of England are introducing new patient flow management technology to help improve patient experience and run more efficient outpatient clinics.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester and the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust in Merseyside are introducing digital dashboards from systems provider Intouch with Health, to help manage the movement of patients receiving cancer treatment across their sites.
It is hoped the technology will reduce DNAs (did not attends) and check-in queues, and increasingly the accuracy of captured data by reducing both trusts’ reliance on paper.
As part of its project, Clatterbridge will introduce clinic wait time management software to capture information on the status of patient appointments and automatically generate messages to inform patients and staff of possible clinic delays.
It will also introduce self-check-in kiosks and digital calling boards to direct patients around the hospital.
The new tech is expected to be up and running by the end of 2018.
Vincent Shuttleworth, project manager at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, said: “In the past, we have experienced clinic delays, which then impact on other appointments such as chemotherapy. We have also had to manage workloads carefully on reception desks as large numbers of patients wait to book in or out.
“We are confident that this project will deliver benefits to both our patients and staff, and its impact will be measured through a formal benefits realisation process and reported to NHS Digital.”
Meanwhile, the Christie will introduce a centralised outpatient flow management dashboard trust-wide, following a review of patient flow management practices that took place in line with the opening of its Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centre earlier this year.
It will also deploy more than 50 digital calling boards and 20 self-service kiosks, which will be supplemented by mobile and tablet check-in technology.
Similar kiosks from Intouch were introduced to outpatient clinics at Royal Papworth Hospital in September.
Mike Sanders, chief executive of Intouch with Health, said: “These two hospitals are at the forefront of cancer care and research in both the UK and Europe, delivering treatment to thousands of patients every year across the North West of England.
“We are delighted to be working with them to support their digital transformation, with the aim of creating a better hospital experience for visiting patients and freeing up hospital staff to focus on delivering the expert levels of care they are world-renowned for.”
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