The challenge

Digital Outpatients was developed in collaboration with front line NHS teams.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic there have been large pressures on the NHS and many of the routine services provided by Trusts have been either suspended or greatly modified whilst provision was made for the large numbers of patients being admitted to hospital requiring high levels of intervention and support.

The pandemic also accelerated many new and innovative ways of working to allow patients to be treated safely while minimising face-to-face contact where safe to do so.

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The solution

We have developed an all-encompassing digital solution which provides secondary care with the ability to manage their outpatient services.
The solution has the following modules available:

  • Preferences
  • Correspondence (Digital Letters)
  • Appointment reminders
  • Pre-assessment questionnaires
  • Video consultation
  • COVID Safe Check arrivals
  • PROMs / post-assessment questionnaires

The service works with Trust Integration Engines allowing information to be sent into local trust PAS.

How does it work?

Integration with secondary care trust PAS or Integration Engines provides appointment details automatically without the requirement for manual input.

Patients are able to set their preferences as to how they would like to be contacted for their outpatient appointment e.g. videoconferencing, voice call, face-to-face.

 

  • A clinic list shows patients that are due to be seen that day and times they are due
  • Clinic lists would be set up for individual departments or users to show them their individual appointments
  • Patients transition across between different states as they confirm they have arrived for the appointment or they are in a waiting area
  • Once patients are confirmed as within the waiting area either physically or virtually they will move into the consultation in progress
  • For virtual consultations, patients are sent links via SMS to join a video conference and can join purely on audio or share video and have the option to share screens or images. Consultants have access to video conferences from their clinic list. They have access to join the meeting via a video conference and access to other contact details
  • Patients who are unable to attend or DNA are put into a separate clinic list. Tasks are then created to confirm the next steps for the DNA which is fed back to the PAS
  • Consultants are able to complete forms which detail next steps for the patient and any outcomes from their consultation. These are integrated back into the PAS through the Inhealthcare API

 

What are the benefits of Digital Outpatients?

  • Manage outpatient services remotely where necessary to reduce the need for face-to-face consultations, enabling patients to be in contact with a health care professional, in the safety and comfort of their own home
  • With integration into hospital PAS and GP systems, the service is seamless and no manual entry is required
  • Video consultations will reduce the need for the patient to travel to the hospital for their appointment reducing C02 emissions for a greener NHS and a greater degree of flexibility
  • Clinicians can conduct consultations from almost anywhere, including from home
  • Clinic rooms and waiting room space could be freed up for other opportunities
  • Accelerates NHS England’s ‘The NHS Long Term Plan’ to redesign services to reduce face to face contact by a third

 

 

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