Denise Williams of BookWise Solutions explores how software is being used at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to improve outpatient services
The outpatient department (OPD) at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital decided it was time to review its complex room management system. The exiting labour-intensive manual system meant time and resources were being wasted. Here, Denise Williamson, managing director at BookWise Solutions, explains how its BookWise OPD software can be used to schedule outpatient clinic rooms
The paper-based room scheduling system previously used by the outpatient department at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital was very hard to manage, lacked transparency, and required heavy user input. When an additional clinic room was needed, numerous calls or emails were required to determine room availability making it a very-timely process.
Recording cancellations, reinstatements and additional clinics required manual inputting into the previous scheduling system. This proved extremely time consuming for staff and resulted in delays cancelling clinics, often impacting the reutilisation of the space.
Following the introduction of the user-friendly BookWise OPD software, users now have greater transparency. Available on the trust’s intranet, consultants, secretaries and general management can easily see room availability options, reducing the telephone calls and emails enquiring about room availability.
Additional room requests and cancellation requests can be sent within the system, which can be accepted or rejected by authorised users within outpatients. A wide range of management reports is available to track consultant activity, cancelled and additional clinics, as well as room utilisation.
This has enabled the outpatient department at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital to allocate additional clinics to specialties and also offered extra flexibility for clinic changes for the first time. Clinics can now be booked weeks and months ahead – a schedule that would be very complex and time consuming to achieve manually.
Farida Umer, operational manager for theatres and ambulatory care at the hospital, said: “BookWise has delivered a positive change for us. We ensured we did our research into its offering and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s transparent and simple to use and has given us a solution to our previous paper-based schedule, which was somewhat outdated, clunky, and had no audit trail.
“Users of the software have been delighted at the ease of use and have found the booking and cancelling of a room quick and efficient.”