How the Synopsis Platform is helping NHS Trusts restart elective surgery

Without face-to-face appointments in the lead up to surgery, how will Trusts be able to communicate the information a patient needs to prepare them for the surgery pathway?

Recent guidelines from NHS England state that, as the NHS begins to resume elective surgery, patients scheduled for operations should only be admitted if they have self-isolated for two weeks before their operation.

The guidelines also state elective surgery patients should test negative for COVID-19 a maximum of 72 hours before they are admitted to hospital. With clinical staff now needing to balance the implementation of these guidelines with the administration and preparation required to get elective surgery back up and running, what technology is available to support them?

Tori Dand, Head of Synopsis Projects at Intouch with Health, explains how Synopsis Home and Synopsis iQ can help.

The guidelines state that Trusts should ensure asymptomatic patients are able to comply with social distancing requirements when they attend outpatient departments ahead of an operation. How is Synopsis Home supporting this?

By helping Trusts to identify patients at high risk of being unfit for their operation and intervene sooner, Synopsis iQ helps keep theatre waiting lists optimal

Social distancing is going to become the new normal and the best way for us to help the hospital achieve this, is be removing the requirement for a patient to physically enter a hospital in the first place. Synopsis Home allows a patient to complete their personal pre-operative health questionnaire  from outside the hospital in their own time. By sending patients a link to their computer, tablet or smart phone, Trusts can ask patients to complete the pre-op health questionnaire from their own home, contributing to a reduction in unnecessary visits to the hospital. Synopsis Home also contains specific COVID-19 questions, supporting infection prevention and control measures.

The patients’ results are made immediately available to the relevant clinical teams who can then triage and swim-lane patients according to their answers, meaning only patients who are identified as at risk need be asked to attend hospital for further assessment.

Without face-to-face appointments in the lead up to surgery, how will Trusts be able to communicate the information a patient needs to prepare them for the surgery pathway?

This will be something many Trusts will need to consider, but there is technology available to help them do so. For example, our Synopsis Home solution allows the hospital to send links to patients with videos and leaflets covering important information to help prepare them for their surgery pathway.

If a patient tests positive for COVID-19 in the two weeks before their re-scheduled surgery, this will undoubtedly cause further disruption as operations begin to restart. How does Synopsis iQ help Trusts deal with this scenario?

By helping Trusts to identify patients at high risk of being unfit for their operation and intervene sooner, Synopsis iQ helps keep theatre waiting lists optimal. This means that if a patient becomes unfit for surgery due to COVID-19 symptoms, a suitable patient can be found quickly and efficiently to fill the available slot and keep surgery moving as Trusts work through the backlog of millions of rescheduled operations.

Trusts will be under new pressures when elective surgery restarts. Will deploying a new system like Synopsis iQ or Home not just take up more time? In short, no. Many Trusts are currently using separate systems to manage the POA pathway, and these are often unwieldy for staff to access and bring their own integration issues. Synopsis iQ and Home provides a central area that brings all stages of the pre-operative assessment process together in one area, removing the need to add notes about activities or additional patient information into separate programmes.

This really helps to streamline the POA pathway for clinical teams and means Trusts can create auditable version histories without paper trail. Synopsis Home is currently available as part of a free 3-moth pilot, and can be deployed within just 24 hours, all we need is a Trust logo and an email address to send the notifications to, and we can do the rest.

In addition, we have also just launched Synopsis iQ Lite, which provides many of the key benefits and functionality of Synopsis iQ, without some of the more advanced features which take longer to deploy. This provides Trusts with the ability to deploy a digital solution at pace, and then scale it into it’s full capacity when the time is right for them.

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Intouch With Health (more information, website)