18 October, 2019
Most years the A&E wait times hit the headlines during the winter months due to the increased demand and we would expect it to be no different this winter, however Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals are looking to improve the waiting times in their A&E departments with new patient history collection software called Smart-ER, in which patients are asked to complete a short digital form whilst they are waiting, which is aimed at helping identify ailments and injuries as well as general health details.
The intention is that the waiting time will turn into a productive part of the A&E visit. This then leads to a much safer and better quality of care, which reduces the strain of the A&E department. A secondary feature of the new software is that it enables the improvement of data collection whilst the patient waits.
The software has been developed though NETIMIS, a web based simulation software tool which offers a set of functionalities to analyse, create and edit healthcare scenarios through pathway modelling. NETIMIS has published a case study on their findings, entitled 'Modelling Improvements to the A&E pathway in the Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals' and investigated the feasibility, acceptability and productivity of Smart-ER in A&E waiting rooms. The purpose of this was to estimate the potential reduction in A&E waiting time with the use of alternative pathways. The case study enabled better visualisation of the challenges and bottlenecks within the current process as well as helping to eliminate risks through simulation before anything was implemented.
The NETIMIS case study was able to conclude that Smart-ER is in fact a valuable new software creation and the case study shows that clinicians save more time with usage of Smart-ER.
The software has now been successful piloted at Montagu Hospital and patients have been asked to start the process of consultation while they wait by completing the short digital form. This is done by the computer terminals which have been installed at the A&E departments within the Trust, with patients being encouraged to complete the form. There is a member of staff on hand if patients encounter any issues. This information will then be stored in the patient's medical record.
If you would like to read the full case study, it can be found here or alternatively, if you have concerns about your previous care in an A&E department or if you consider it fell below the proper standard, please contact the Clinical Negligence team on 01254 872111 to discuss the matter further.