Health Tech Awards 2022: best digital solution supporting waiting list management

Our Health Tech Awards 2022 finalists for ‘best digital solution supporting waiting list management’ are as follows:

Nottingham University Hospital Trust and DrDoctor

Overview: Nottingham University Hospital Trust is protecting vulnerable patients, validating outpatient waiting lists, and freeing up clinician time with the support of DrDoctor’s platform.

Why?  In late 2020, NUH recognised that it needed to enhance its digital offering to help return its outpatient activity to pre-COVID levels, and meet the operational guidance for 2020/21 that asked ICSs to accelerate delivery of transformation.

What happened? NUH introduced a comprehensive, digitally-enabled programme, which involved implementing digital patient reviews, a patient portal with patient-centred appointment management, and video consultations. The programme’s focus over the past year has been converting default face-to-face follow-up appointments with DrDoctor’s digital questionnaires, which can be sent to patients via SMS or email, or accessed via the portal. Implemented across 16 specialities, the questionnaires allow clinicians to establish whether a patient needs to come into the hospital for a follow-up appointment. Patients receive a reminder and a link through their preferred communication method. Once a patient completes their questionnaire, results a viewable instantly in the portal and integrated into the EPR, allowing clinical teams to make informed decisions on next steps for each patient’s care.

Looking ahead. NUH has been able to release 247 hours of clinicial time with the time saved from the digital reviews. Questionnaires have also improved patient experience through continuity of care, with feedback from patients extremely positive.

Sapien Health

Overview: Sapien Health is a digital clinic that helps people prepare for and recover from surgery at home. Their mobile app-based solution combines expert health coaching, personalised digital guidance and a toolkit of educational resources to help members understand and adopt lifestyle habits proven to improve surgery outcomes.

Why?  A lack of preparation for surgery results in avoidable cancellations, extended hospital stay and postoperative complications.

What happened?  Sapien empowers patients to take a more active role in their own care. Working in collaboration with NHS partners, Sapien equips people with the knowledge, confidence and skills to better prepare for and recover from their operation at home. In the first week of registration, patients complete the Sapien Foundation Course, an interactive educational course designed to support patients in gaining foundational knowledge required to optimise for surgery. Patients can communicate with their assigned health coach and have access to an extensive catalogue of learning modules, workouts, recipes and meal plans designed to support ongoing preparation. Sapien has securied multiple NHS ICS deals and has achieved a Net Promoter Score of 90 and above.

Looking ahead. Sapien is participating in the Digital Health London programme and won a place on the inaugural AWS accelerator.

ECG On-Demand

Overview: ECG On-Demand is a specialist provider of 12-lead ECG interpretation and Holter analysis (continuous ECG monitoring for 24 hours and more) services. Their Mail Order Service has allowed for increased home monitoring, providing an effective way of undertaking diagnostics whilst reducing patient waiting lists.

Why?  Primary and secondary care stopped in-house ECG Holter fittings when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lengthy waiting lists became apparent across the country.

What happened? A mail order service team was quickly established; they began to send out Holter monitoring kits to patients at home, allowing for more patients than usual to undergo monitoring and in turn reduce the backlog. The mail order service contacts people at the beginning the process and organises a delivery of monitoring devices that have been programmes accordingly, packaged in biodegradable and recyclable packaging. The patient fits the monitor themselves with the help of an instruction book. Patients can wear the monitor for a flexible period of 24 hours up to 14 days depending on their clinician’s recommendation. This allows more time for a diagnosis to be made without the stress of increasing waiting lists.

Looking ahead. Along with reducing waiting list pressures, the mail order service has supported doctor’s by allowing them to request flexible recording times, reducing the need for repeat testing or referrals.