ABOUT Nottingham University Hospitals
Nottingham University Hospitals, one of Britain’s largest acute healthcare trusts, is achieving significant improvements in its customer service thanks to Q-Flow® patient management system.
An initial project launched in 2010 has been developed in three phases to extend and improve performance at NUH’s two outpatient blood (phlebotomy) clinics. The benefits are set to extend further to improve the delivery of blood services to inpatients on hospital wards.
Q-Flow® has helped the trust to:
- Reduce outpatient waiting times and the number of patients abandoning appointments due to long waits for treatment.
- Better manage allocation of resources across the hospitals’ services.
- Improve the patient experience by providing better information, including the use of different languages.
Q-Flow® has improved the customer experience in a number of ways. Each clinic has a simple to use touchscreen kiosk, allowing patients to check-in for an appointment and take a ticket. The screen then calls each person forward for their appointment.
In 2011 the system was integrated with up to five million patient records held in NUH’s Patient Administration System (PAS).
Steve Davidson, Service Manager Haemostasis & Thrombosis Services, at NUH explains: “Previously when a patient arrived at the clinic, their details had to be recorded and stored locally, but now the system automatically searches the database to retrieve each patient’s details. Patients use the kiosk to check in for their appointment, using individual ID numbers.
“This has reduced patient waiting times by 50% during peak periods with no waiting during off-peak hours, addressing one of the key national concerns in NHS service delivery.”
Non-English speakers can request the information on the display in an alternative language, such as Polish or Urdu. The system stores the patient’s preference, so the digital display uses the appropriate language when they are called forward for their appointment.
The generation of appointment letters and printing of blood sample bottle labels is now automated using dedicated templates. Blood label printing has especially reduced the amount of time phlebotomists spent on each patient and reduced the risk of potential data errors compared with the previous manual, hand-written approach.
Q-Flow® also provides accurate data on workflow and staff performance, helping the trust better plan its allocation of manpower and skills across different services. “It provides an efficient reporting tool as well as reduced waiting times,” says Steve Davidson. “The data it generates shows how long it is taking for patients to be seen and when the peak periods of demand occur, information that can be used to improve staff efficiency.”
The third phase is integration with HL7, the international healthcare accreditation standard for the exchange of electronic information. Staff use taskbook computers to prepare each day’s case-load and labels, automating a manual process. Integration with HL7 opens up the potential for using Q-Flow® for additional functions, including online appointment booking, multi-channel appointments and sophisticated staff management tools.
“Feedback from staff and patients has been excellent. Patients have noted a real reduction in waiting times and better organisation,” said Steve Davidson.
Get in touch to schedule a live demo of Q-Flow® today.
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