Heart of England Approach to Enterprise Scheduling
Client:Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
- Streamline outpatient appointment system across several hospital sites
- UltraGenda - CSC's Enterprise Scheduling
- Provides clinicians with the right information
- Ensures patients are seen in the correct chronological order and within the required timescales
- Encourages best practices and optimum use of trust resources - reducing waste and costs
About the trust
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest in England and one of the highest performing in the UK, with over 11,000 staff delivering general/ specialist hospital and community care across East Birmingham, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth and South Staffordshire.
The trust’s hospitals include Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Solihull Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Birmingham Chest Clinic, together with community health services across Solihull and several small satellite units, where patients can be treated close to home.
The merger of Birmingham Heartlands NHS Trust and Solihull Hospital in 1995 resulted in Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust, which became Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in April 2005, with Good Hope Hospital joining in 2007.
Choose and Book
With 3.5 million appointments in the system at any one time, and 35 staff managing 80% of all outpatient appointments, the Heart of England needed a system that rationalizes the appointments process, reduces did not attends (DNA) and minimizes rescheduling.
There was also a desire to harmonize processes across each site to maximize efficiency and improve patient care, as well as developing a new finance and billing system.
Importantly, Heart of England experienced a high did not attend (DNA) rate for outpatient appointments – around 14% and above the current national average.
And historically there had been no mechanism for accurate delivery of patient pathways, to ensure adherence to waiting times or safeguard against patients becoming lost in the system.
The solution – CSC’s Enterprise Scheduling Solution – Ultragenda Ultragenda delivers proven booking and referral capabilities to trusts for coordinated care across healthcare communities.
Designed specifically for the healthcare sector and the only system of its kind, UltraGenda streamlines existing scheduling processes, reducing inefficiency and improving patient care.
Configurable and very easy to use, UltraGenda can be implemented incrementally, with minimum disruption, enhancing existing systems without needing to rip and replace.
Patient pathways created
“While the present government has relaxed the 18 week waiting time, local PCTs still expect their patients to start treatment within 18 weeks,” says IT manager Jonathan Daniels. “Using UltraGenda, we can accurately monitor compliance by calculating the gap between two key dates – referral and start of treatment.”
Early achievements have resulted in a Choose and Book pathway for outpatient appointments, which has invigorated outpatients’ services, with DNAs reduced significantly from 14% to less than 10%, through a range of initiatives. These include telephone reminders to patients, using data pulled from UltraGenda.
Allocating the right patient to the right appointment type and the right clinician on the right day is already increasing capacity and increasing the number of available appointments, without extending working hours or staff numbers. Patients are experiencing fewer delays, shorter waiting times, and virtual certainty that they will see the correct clinician.
This revised appointment scheduling system is already doubling the number of new patients, enabling the trust to take full advantage of all available resources.
From the doctors’ perspective, allocating patients and appointments to the physiologist and an associate specialist gives them greater responsibility, while for the registrar there is the satisfaction of being able to deal with all allocated patients.
“It’s highly stable and reliable, and the support offered is second to none. It has completely transformed our outpatients and finance systems, and we are starting to reap rewards throughout the trust,” says Daniels.
Very simply, UltraGenda brings together each referral or step in the patient pathway. Individual clinicians have their own episodes of care within each patient pathway, which they access directly, without wading through tons of irrelevant information. It also integrates easily with other systems, and according to Heart of England is “the perfect scheduling system”.