The Royal Derby Hospital cares for more than 180,000 people, as inpatients, outpatients, emergency cases and day patients. Serving a population of over 600,000 people in and around southern Derbyshire, the Trust targets prevention and wellbeing, rather than only focusing on treatment and cure.
Improving winter performance
Recognising the challenges faced by most Acute Trusts in the NHS the Chief Executive made winter performance the hospital’s number one priority for the coming season. The previous year, the Trust had suffered from variable performance against the A&E 4 hour standard. Consistent patient flow issues, compounded by a high level of delayed discharges and high bed occupancy, made managing efficient patient flow difficult. Derby agreed that they required a system that would provide operational insight and a real time system that would support clinical staff in day to day activities was identified as a priority.
The “Hospital Without Walls” concept, outlined in the RCP Future Hospital’s paper, created a need for a system that would facilitate communication across organisational boundaries. For that, they needed a system that would allow them to engage with other health partners.
Coordinating a quick installation
To ensure that the system could be fully operational, and fully embedded, by the time winter bed pressures made an impact the system had to be implemented quickly and effectively. With support from the ExtraMed team, the Trust committed to delivering the project in just 12 weeks, from kick-off to go-live, including hardware and software installation, training and support for clinical staff, and development of virtual wards and operational views.
Visual cues for action
One of the key features of the patient flow solution is its easy, at a-glance method of highlighting patients that need specific attention. Colour coding highlights patients nearing their EDD to allow staff to focus on the steps each patient needs to contribute to their discharge. Delayed discharges are also highlighted, giving a full view of the status of each patient.
Average length of stay across the medical inpatient wards reduced through the winter following implementation of the Patient Flow solution. Although a number of causes underpin this reduction, it represents a change in trend that the Trust had not previously seen, demonstrating the solution’s role in enabling and supporting a wide range of initiatives.