Male hospital porter transporting male patient in a wheelchair

Supporting NHS trust to manage Covid-19 through effective portering

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has recently invested in the MyPorter portering management system to help improve service resilience and patient flow as it heads into the double challenge of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and usual winter pressures.

The trust’s former management system for its portering department had begun to experience failures, resulting in delays to patient and item movements, and its reporting system was difficult to use. Upgrading the existing system would have involved significant additional investment in infrastructure and devices and considerable disruption during installation. 

MyPorter was developed by porter managers, for porter managers, with its creator GlobalView Systems gaining insight from more than 100 NHS Trusts before developing the unique solution. 

Each system is configured to the individual needs of the hospital. For Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, the MyPorter software provides dashboards at ward level where they can request a porter, and the porter supervisor can allocate tasks to porters. Each porter uses a robust Motorola radio which receives text messages with details of their tasks. This reduction in voice communication ensures clarity on tasks, reduces background noise and enhances the privacy of patients. As the porter carries the radio with them it also improves efficiency as they no longer have to go to a hospital phone to manage their tasks.

Erika Brunt, Facilities Manager said: “MyPorter ticks all the boxes; it’s so much better than other systems we looked at. It’s so easy and quick for the ward to use, and the porters love it too. The accuracy of data has given us much greater insight into how we can best deliver our portering service. This is especially important when we face winter pressures amid the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Portering provides a vital function within hospitals, without which clinical and non-clinical services cannot operate effectively.

MyPorter has removed the need for porters to phone into the system at the trust, saving time, improving response times and patient flow. The system gives real time alerts on porter location and status, and the dashboard colour codes priorities and alerts, enabling tasks to be resourced accordingly, e.g. sepsis patients can be given priority and appointments for CT/MRI scans scheduled into the system in advance. 

Staff report the system being simple to use, and its reporting functionality not only makes it easy to measure KPIs and product reports, but the intuitive software can also identify trends and deliver insight, such as predicted peaks in demand, improving the efficiency and therefore financial management of the department. The system is currently being expanded to automatically allocate tasks to the next available porter/team without requiring management by a supervisor or helpdesk. 

Richard Iveson at GlobalView Systems explained: “MyPorter works closely with its customers to understand their needs and adapt our advanced solutions accordingly.

"We configure systems according to infrastructure and priorities whilst ensuring systems can be easily adapted and expanded without the need for major investment.

"Updates and upgrades to the software are supplied at no extra cost ensuring users are always operating on the most advanced software version and we have UK-based sales and technical support. We have been delighted to work with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust to help it improve the experience of not only the portering team, but also clinical staff and patients."

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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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