Royal Surrey FT launches new digital tool for pre-op assessment

Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new digital tool for pre-operative assessment designed to support patients ahead of surgery.

The new LifeBox tool – created by consultants and digital experts at Definition Health, a Brighton-based health tech company from the Sussex Innovation Centre – builds an interactive patient summary, from patients completing part of their pre-assessment at home via an online healthcare questionnaire. 

In using a two-way file sharing tool between the trust and the patient, information shared includes test results, medication, fasting advice and other key details ahead of the patient’s procedure.  

Digitising a previous paper-based process involving forms and patient leaflets, the digital tool provides informative videos explaining each procedure and offers information for patients to manage their expectations.  

Within the Royal Surrey statement, the organisation highlights that the tool’s aim is to help clinicians ‘optimise’ their patient’s care and safety by identifying individual needs earlier, supporting an end goal of an ‘improved’ allocation of nurse time and a ‘better’ patient experience. 

Lead on the new project, Dr Harsh Saxena, Consultant Anaesthetist, Royal Surrey NHS FT, commented: “The benefits of using LifeBox are many and include being able to empower patients and engage them more fully in their own care, educating them about their surgical procedure and facilitating smooth admission. It also allows us to improve standardisation of patient care and reduce unnecessary hospital visits. 

“Completing part of their pre-assessment away from the hospital not only lessens the stress for patients, but it also allows close family and friends to be more involved in the process and support their loved ones more effectively. 

“Not only are the patient benefits great, but we’re also fortunate that LifeBox has been funded by a Small Business Research Grant so it’s good value for the trust too.”