Burton hospital avoids discharge delays with patient flow technology

Queen’s Hospital Burton deploys ExtraMed Patient Flow to free up capacity and reduce discharge delays

The new system will provide instant visibility of patient status, speeding up discharge and improving capacity

Queen’s Hospital Burton is to deploy the ExtraMed Patient Flow system to help clinicians more efficiently manage patient flow, avoid delays in discharge, enhance patient care, and free up crucial capacity.

Following the success of the ExtraMed Patient Flow solution at Royal Derby Hospital, where staff have reduced lengths of stay and enhanced care for patients, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB) is to roll out the same system in wards across its Burton site.

The system will provide instant visibility of patient status to staff on wards, to teams working hospital-wide, and to senior leaders, replacing manual whiteboards and processes with an intuitive digital solution that improves patient experience and helps staff make safer, more-informed decisions.

Gill Ogden, director of nursing at the trust, said: “Staff are really excited about this technology coming to Burton, where we expect immediate differences for discharge and overall patient flow, with lots more functionality we will explore over time.

This is about making sure everything is done to get patients home safely and it will help us to reduce delays and lengths of stay

“Clinical teams at Royal Derby Hospital have really valued having information at a glance, and the improved communication that ExtraMed has supported.

“And nurses on wards in Burton will be able to quickly see what is happening with the patient, and what needs to happen to prevent delays in patients going home.

“That’s the right thing, for many reasons. We operate a very-busy hospital, and we need to free up space for patients coming in. And, when patients stay in hospital for longer than they need, that isn’t good for them – with older patients experiencing deconditioning.

“If patients are ready to go home, that’s where we should be getting them.”

An agreement with ExtraMed, which is owned by smart health tech provider, Alcidion, will see staff at Queen’s Hospital Burton using the technology to help to manage the patient journey more efficiently across the hospital, from admissions and ward transfers through to discharge.

Doctors, nurses, and other clinical staff will draw on the technology to deliver joined-up care; while management will have better visibility of bed capacity, the ability to identify bottlenecks, and the information available to plan resources more efficiently and effectively.

Ogden said: “Beyond staff on individual wards, bed managers can quickly identify available beds. And, as a senior nurse, if I do a ward walk, I will look at ExtraMed to see which patients have a longer length of stay and ask colleagues about those patients, so I can understand why delays are happening – whether that’s because hospital is the right place for a complex patient, or if there are delays in the healthcare system that we can do something about.

We have worked closely with the trust to support its vision to have a technically-advanced environment and to build on its achievements and investment in healthcare technology was a key driver of its plans to support improved patient care

“And teams like pharmacy and physiotherapy that work across wards can see where their patients are with ease. Also, the discharge team can see which patients are medically fit for discharge and make necessary arrangements both within the hospital, and for more-complex discharges, with social services, for example.

“This is about making sure everything is done to get patients home safely and it will help us to reduce delays and lengths of stay. With patients on emergency pathways less likely to wait longer than necessary.

“And we will be able to get more elective patients in for procedures – which, given the national elective backlog, is more important than ever.”

Susan Say, managing director of ExtraMed, added: “Healthcare professionals in Derby have been visionary in their thinking.

“They have made our patient flow technology a success from the beginning, going from strength to strength on medical and surgical wards, and then by rolling out to the community teams and GP practices.

“We have worked closely with the trust to support its vision to have a technically-advanced environment and to build on its achievements and investment in healthcare technology was a key driver of its plans to support improved patient care.”

ExtraMed’s patient flow system is expected to be deployed at Queen’s Hospital Burton early next year.

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