Secondary Care

Plymouth hails outcomes data improvement project success with 30% increase in outpatient income

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust has hailed a project to improve the accuracy of its outpatient data a success after reporting a near 30% increase in Trust income for outpatient procedures over the last three years.

The project, which started in 2015, was commissioned to introduce a more efficient and accurate process for recording the outcomes of outpatient appointments at the Trust using a digital form.

Commenting on the project, Mat Swabey, senior project support manager, said: “Prior to the project, we were facing significant issues with patients not being seen in time as a result of missing paper forms, follow-on appointments not getting booked and much of our outpatient data not being accurately recorded.”

“We wanted to address these issues by removing paper-based outcome forms and replacing them with a more accurate and efficient electronic alternative. We pulled together an implementation team and enlisted the support of digital patient flow specialists, Intouch with Health, to discuss, design and develop the project over a period of two years.”

“Speedy integration with HL7 was important, and we designed a system that was simple to use with a minimum fuss for maximum engagement from our clinicians who would be using the electronic form.”

The Trust says the solution, known as eOutcomes, has the ability to automatically code patients’ appointments with treatments, investigations or diagnoses selected during clinic, before creating a waiting list on its Patient Administration System and then prioritising it with the Referral To Treatment code based on algorithms within the system.

“Just over three years since project start, there are now 7,500 eOutcomes forms completed each week by clinicians.  We have also increased the level of our outpatient activity recorded as procedures by more than 55% since 2014 and have achieved a 29% increase in income received for outpatient procedures.”

“A primary objective of this project was to introduce a more efficient and accurate recording procedure and remove the need for paper-based outcome forms.”

“In my view, the introduction of the solution has been a complete success. It has greatly improved the Trusts data quality, which has resulted in a more efficient way to capture outpatient procedures and a significant increase in the Trust’s income.”