Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has adopted a digital solution, MyPorter, to support porter requests and task management to provide efficiencies.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s existing tracking system for its Portering Department had begun to experience failures, and as an older system it no longer received full technical support. Jobs were mostly logged via wards and departments and sent to porters via pagers. Porters then needed to go to a hospital phone to pick up tasks and also report completion or delays. There was no real time visibility on the location of porters, or activity. Upgrading the existing system would have involved significant additional investment in infrastructure and devices and considerable disruption during installation. Many wards said they were finding it impossible to use the system; reverting to manual management which resulted in delays to patient and item movements and its reporting system was difficult to use.
Portering provides a vital function within hospitals – without which clinical and non-clinical service cannot operate effectively.
When looking to replace its existing system, the trust examined a number of options before deciding MyPorter was best suited to its needs. MyPorter was developed by porter managers, for porter managers, with 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. And where the wards request a porter, 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.
The system is currently being expanded to automatically allocate tasks to the next available porter/team, without requiring management by a supervisor or helpdesk.
Results and benefits
MyPorter has delivered a wide range of benefits to the trust:
Productivity has increased as porters no longer have to phone into the system, saving time. These improved response times have in turn improved 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.
- Easy to use
As the NHS continues to move away from paper-based systems, MyPorter provides an advanced solution that is simple to work with. Staff very quickly understood how to use the system for communication, management, and reporting, with minimal training.
MyPorter enables data to be exported into excel, word, rich text format, pdf and straight into charts, enabling trusts to design and produce a wide range of reports, bespoke to their needs e.g. data on specific wards, moves or timeframes. In addition to measuring Key Performance Indicators, the intuitive software can identify trends and deliver insight, such as predicted peaks in demand – improving the efficiency and therefore financial management of the department.
MyPorter has proven its reliability in other trusts throughout the UK. The radio handsets used are purpose-built for critical communications with a long battery life and encrypted data. The system also has a built in back up system using radio communication, which means in the event of a system failure or an emergency situation, management can communicate with the porters directly. MyPorter has the option to operate over WiFi where a robust network is in place to provide full coverage, providing a future-proof platform for service delivery.
Should the needs of the hospital change, the MyPorter system can be quickly and easily expanded without the need for major investment. Users with relevant access permissions can easily add new staff and areas and manage passwords and security.
MyPorter is a UK solution, offering prompt after sales and technical support. Any updates and upgrades to the software are automatically supplied at no extra cost, ensuring users are always operating on the most advanced software version.
Natalie Morgan, Porter Supervisor, said: “MyPorter has given us better use of resources and improved patient movement. The team at MyPorter worked closely with us, and it shows that they really understand portering and the needs of our team, environment and patients.”
Find out more at myporterlogistics.com
Feature by Global View Systems