North East London NHS Foundation Trust deploys e-discharge module to support virtual ward delivery

North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) has deployed the e-discharge module of the Portasana patient communication platform, as part of efforts to support virtual wards, handle patient discharge and support patient flow.

Through Portasana’s e-discharge capabilities, staff at the trust will be able to digitally discharge patients into several pathways including a virtual ward, with digital observations made by clinicians feeding directly into the electronic patient record. Wellola, the healthcare solution provider behind Portasana, states that this is “made possible by Portasana’s deep write back integration into the Rio EPR, eliminating the need for additional admin to update the patient record”.

Additional expected benefits from digitising this process including supporting NELFT to audit the causes of delayed discharge, identifying areas for potential improvement; and improved visibility for patients, with “clear visibility of their status at all times” without a requirement to call the hospital or visit in person.

Lyndsey Watson, chief operating officer at Wellola, states: “By digitising the critical transition between care providers and supporting virtual wards delivery, Portasana can alleviate the burden on hospitals, freeing up bed space, and empowering clinicians to focus on delivering quality care. This transformative integrated solution paves the way for efficient, patient-centred care in every step of the journey from hospital to home.”

Umesh Gadhvi, the trust’s chief digital information officer, called virtual wards a “a key digital offering to allow patients to get the care they need at home safely and conveniently, rather than being in hospital, therefore supporting hospital avoidance.”

Also on virtual wards, earlier this month we reported on NHS England’s guidance on access to diagnostics on virtual wards, highlighting the main requirements “for the delivery of effective virtual wards” and sharing recommended priority tests, measures and assessments that “all virtual wards should consider making available to their patients”.

We also highlighted insights around virtual wards from our visit to Rewired in March – click here to read.

For more insights from North East London, read our interview with Dr Osman Bhatti, GP and chief clinical information officer at North East London ICB, in which he shares his thoughts on digital projects, programmes and priorities.