Digital tool supports understanding of knee treatment at Harrogate and District

Harrogate and District NHS FT has highlighted the positive impact of a new tool developed by Mr Dave Duffy, consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at the trust.

The multimedia tool has been developed to support patients’ understanding of their knee arthroscopy treatment – a type of keyhole surgery designed to check or repair the joint.

Mr Dave Duffy, a consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at HDFT, developed the Arthrex Synergy Surgeon App to provide patients with a clear understanding of what they have experienced. For each knee arthroscopy, the procedure is videoed with Mr Duffy adding a step by step audio explanation to help the patient understand the procedure. This includes the next steps to take in their recovery, from bandaging wounds to appropriate exercises.

The trust highlighted from a recent survey that almost 25% of patients felt they were not alert enough to discuss their surgery in the post operation period, with three quarters unable to recall post operation instructions.

Since introducing the tool, the trust has highlighted “only 15 per cent of patients who have received the information felt they would need a further follow-up appointment.”

Mr Dave Duffy said: “The multimedia solution we have introduced has proven to be a real success. All of the patients who have received a report have stated they found the video of the operation and the post operative advice very reassuring. The report puts patients’ minds at ease, provides answers to many of their questions and in many cases removes the need for further appointments or written communications -allowing the clinician to spend additional time helping other patients.

“We have received lots of enquiries about the innovation from other partners in the NHS and we are keen to share our learning to scale up the innovation for the benefits of patients.”

Dr Jacqueline Andrews, medical director and executive lead for Digital at HDFT, added: “Our trust’s strategy puts healthcare innovation at the heart of everything we do. Our purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of our patients, children and communities, and digital transformation plays an important role in this.

“We want to invest in digital tools and services which makes it easier to provide the best quality, safest care and improves the experience for our patients. As a relatively small trust, we have the ability to be agile when it comes to innovation; rapidly piloting new innovations and gaining feedback fast, for the benefits of healthcare innovation businesses and the NHS. As a result, we have invested in an exciting new Healthcare Research and Innovation Hub which will be located at St James Park, Knaresborough, and is due to open in July.”