Digital doctors

Robotics software success in trust's Outpatients department

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, have praised the introduction of robotics software in their Outpatients department. Their Robotics Process Automation (RPA) project helped speed up processes, and free up extra time so staff were able to focus on patient care and experience.

It removed the need for tedious, repetitive actions to be carried out manually by staff. As a result of the technology patients who faced extended waiting times in getting appointments due to the pandemic, have been able to receive faster access to treatment.

The robots successfully processed more than 2,300 referrals in the first two weeks of the programme, saving the trust over 200 hours. It allowed teams to respond quicker because of the robots operating 24 hours a day.

Julia Doe, Head of Patient Administration, said: “In Outpatients, we were spending almost 3,000 hours a year extracting these e-Referrals, so the introduction of RPA is a game changer for us.

“We’re looking forward to automating a number of other processes which currently take up resources that can be better utilised in improving patient care.”

Claire Leigh, Service Support Manager, added: “I am extremely proud that Outpatients has taken on the first Robotics Process Automation in the trust.

“I have already seen the positive impact this has had on my team, and have no doubt this will be the first of many RPAs in the trust, completely overhauling the way we work.”

The software has also been used in the Outpatients department to gather referrals from the NHS e-Referral Service, where patients are referred by a GP or self-referred online.

The use of robotics to automate the extraction of e-Referrals has been described as a “game changer” by the Outpatients department, and it is hoped to be rolled out to other areas of their hospital.

Adam Souris, the Associate Director for Workforce Control Improvement Programme, and robotics programme lead, said: “The implementation of robotics in Outpatients is a fantastic example of cross-functional multi-disciplinary teams working together to drive improvements in the way we deliver our services.

“From the initial proposal to the delivery of automation, the team has been enthusiastic and committed in supporting the project. It is exciting to see the benefit that robotics can bring to our patients and we look forward to utilising automation across the trust.”

 

NHE Sept/Oct 21

NHE Sept/Oct 21

Improving care for long-term conditions

Join us in our September/October edition of National Health Executive, as we explore a range of topics impacting and improving the care that we can deliver to patients, the facilities within which we deliver them, and the opportunities in the digital space to accent and evolve our care capabilities

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NHE365 Virtual Festival: Digital Healthcare

The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

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