Health Tech Awards Finalists 2021: Partnership of the Year

One of the most competitive categories, and an element key to successful programmes, here we take a look at the Health Tech Awards 2021, Partnership of the Year category.

The finalists include programmes from Mastercall Healthcare, Lantum and Greater Manchester, Qolcom and HPE Aruba, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, HAS Technology and ADASS East, NHS Shared Business Services and Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Sensyne Health and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust and the London Ambulance Service, and St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and System C.

Who would your winner be?

HAS Technology and ADASS East

ADASS East has worked with HAS Technology to improve social care data quality.

The partnership uses the mantra ‘do once, not 11 times’, to provide a view of the local care market to drive improvements.

The system was introduced to replace manual reporting and monitoring, and enable market intelligence, quality and financial data to be accessed in one place, in real-time. The tool provided:

– Real-time market insight and analysis at the push of a button with reporting on: cost, volume, quality and value for money
– Effective risk management, including early warning of suppliers in possible difficulty
– Compliance with responsibilities under the Care Act 2014
– Measurable improvements in provider quality and evidence of interventions
– A strong partnership, with expertise within health & social care and ability to deliver innovative secure and scalable technological solutions.

The company said: “By bringing together care quality and financial data from 11 local authorities, 2,000 contracted providers and 20,000 service users, alongside automatic data from the CQC, PAMMS has enabled comparison between ratings and council findings to ensure a comprehensive overview, while delivering capital savings of £550,000 with further estimated ongoing annual savings of over £550,000.”

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and System C

Next up in this category is St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (STHK), which chose modules from System C’s CareFlow Electronic Patient Record (EPR) to help its clinical teams go digital with a care co-ordination platform.

Clinicians St Helens and Knowsley are now benefiting from access to mobile, real-time patient information on the new platform, and paper-based clinical processes have been replaced with digital workflows to maximise efficiencies and standardise formats for safer care.

System C’s CareFlow Connect, a secure and mobile clinical communications and collaboration system, is designed to facilitate faster and safer care co-ordination for clinical teams within a hospital and across a care community. It optimises key clinical workflows through a range of features such as shared patient lists, electronic handover, clinical tagging, task management and referrals, and is improving access of patient information by providing clinicians with a fuller, secure, and up-to-date view of patient information on their mobile phones.

STHK is using Connect’s electronic handover functionality, for safer transfer of care between teams to improve outcomes. The system both streamlines the process and standardises the format, complete with notes that are dynamically updated by multi-professional teams and date/time stamped to create a robust audit trail. When patients move between departments, the handover information moves with them. The system also monitors and analyses a patient’s vital signs to identify deteriorating conditions and provides risk scores to trigger further necessary care.

At St Helens and Knowsley, the system has been rolled out across the majority of medical, surgical, obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics, community and therapy wards. It is embedded in the clinical workflows across each of these areas and is also used by around 1,600 clinical staff.  Many of the wards were onboarded during the pandemic to support the trust’s response and to capitalise on the alerting functionality for observations and COVID-19 positive results.

As an intuitive secure mobile phone app, clinical staff can access and begin using it with minimal training and disruption, as well as through their own devices. So far, the care of around 19,000 patients has been managed using Connect, with 252,000 handovers updated, of which 40,000 were carried out just in the last month, along with 15,000 referrals and 42,000 clinical tags. Early analysis estimates that areas of STHK’s digitisation programme has resulted in a saving of around 2.7 million sheets of paper a year, equating to £38,000 pa of savings.

Ragit Varia, Clinical Director and a consultant in acute medicine at STHK, said: “Not only has CareFlow standardised and streamlined patient referrals but it has enabled enhanced accessibility via clinician’s devices. This means the shift lead can have a helicopter view of all acute admissions, and resources can be maximised using the task management facility.”

NHS Shared Business Services and Medway NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) and Medway NHS Foundation Trust developed a new workforce analytics solution, which uses data science techniques to improve NHS staff retention by predicting – with 95% accuracy – which individual employees are at increased risk of leaving.

Citing figures and predictions from The Health Foundation, the NHS is facing a workforce shortfall of over 115,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, with projections this will double by 2025/26 and exceed 475,000 by 2033/34.

In common with NHS organisations around the country, Medway NHS Foundation Trust looked to address its nurse retention challenge. With over 1,200 registered nurses and an annual turnover rate of 14%, its workforce team explored innovative ways to use data to improve nurse retention.

Working with data scientists and workforce experts the partnership analysed historic data from staff and leavers over a five year period, with an aim to prove that statistical modelling could be used to accurately predict an employee departure.

The model identifies and assigns a weighted numerical risk score to a range of primary and secondary factors, which when combined can determine the probability of an individual leaving.

To increase the accuracy of the predictive analytics, a large number of factors are analysed. These include an employee’s salary, the length of time they have been in their current role, the distance they travel to work, the area they work (e.g. hospital ward), and personal circumstances such as recorded stress or special leave taken.

James Kendall, Head of Workforce Intelligence at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, explained: “Like the vast majority of NHS trusts we have needed to increase our nursing numbers in recent years to be able to meet rising demand for our clinical services. And we have done so successfully, with the number of NMC registered staff steadily growing from around 1,110 FTE nurses in 2015, to over 1,200 today – with a nursing vacancy rate that has reduced from 34% to 9% in the last five years.

“Attracting staff to the Trust in the first place is obviously essential, but what we are increasingly focused on is how we then keep them.

“In most cases an employee’s decision to leave is made up long before they resign from their role. With this in mind, we worked with NHS SBS to pilot a solution that analyses workforce data to predict employees who are at high risk of leaving and the reasons why.

“Whilst the potential benefits to our own organisation were significant, we also knew that any success we had could be replicated elsewhere and have a far-reaching impact for the wider NHS.”

Qolcom & HPE Aruba

In response to the pandemic, the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter opened to provide additional capacity to care for COVID-19 patients. Purpose-built in just 8 weeks, a crucial requirement for the 116-bed Hospital was a robust, scalable and reliable network to support IT and healthcare teams to deliver better patient outcomes. Secure Wi-Fi network was a top priority to ensure operational efficiency to provide critical equipment and responsive care.

Qolcom, the EMEA and UKI Partner of the year for HPE Aruba, delivered “a comprehensive, reliable wired and wireless network across the site within weeks.”

The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust selected Qolcom and HPE Aruba, this meant that the on-the-ground presence the time to deploy was significantly reduced. Central services could be rapidly extended to the Nightingale Exeter for authentication–via Aruba ClearPass and for management, via Aruba Airwave.

The network solution had four defining features, each contributing to meeting the Nightingale Hospital’s precise requirements:

  1. Granular security (for wi-fi and wired network):
  2. Dependable hardware, intelligent design:
  3. Wireless connectivity, centralised control:
  4. Collaborative delivery and 24/7 support:

The outcome, the company notes was: “A fast, reliable and secure IT network was delivered for the Nightingale Exeter – to a very tight timescale and on budget.”

A testimonial from Paul Hopkins, Programme Director, NHS England, said: “It is really refreshing to work with a company which has such similar values to our organisation. The ability to deploy this major IT solution so quickly has potentially been life saving and a simple, secure experience, across a wide spectrum of users, will continue to be at the heart of Nightingale Exeter.”

Sensyne Health and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Sensyne Health utilised de-identified and anonymised patient datasets to support the clinical decision-making process for COVID-19 patients with the SYNE-COV prediction algorithm for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The tool, a COVID-19 patient outcome prediction algorithm, in collaboration with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, helps clinicians proactively manage patients by utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict patient outcomes and inform near real time clinical decision making.

The entry cited “the volume of data points generated for patients in hospital has increased exponentially, and the breadth increases as the disease progresses. For example, one patient in ICU is expected to produce 20,000 – 30,000 points of data per day, including vital signs, respiratory tests and laboratory results. During the pandemic, early intervention was essential, not only to understand the likely impact on intensive care resources but more importantly to save lives.”

The hospital and Sensyne Health worked together to develop the AI-based digital solution, that provides clinicians with an individual patient risk score to aid critical clinical assessment of three potential COVID outcomes when a patient enters hospital:

  • Admission to intensive care
  • Invasive mechanical ventilation
  • In-hospital mortality

Mastercall Healthcare 

A partnership in the North West spanning healthcare, local government, social care is having a big impact on the lives of residents and patients, while substantially reducing hospital admissions.

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and out of hospital service provider Mastercall Healthcare worked with technology partner Dignio, in a programme that has used an advanced remote care platform to keep NHS patients well, cared for and monitored from home.

From January 2020 until the end of April 2021 a total of 44% admissions have been avoided for Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital, for the 888 patients on the programme – who live at home or in care homes. An estimated c£6 million has been saved.

In one example, one cohort of 12 care home residents had a total of two admissions in six months between them, rather than an expected 40-60 admissions from this acute cohort.

Mastercall associate director of nursing, Suzanne Curtis said: “In the future, from our experience and service development, we can see that the use of a digital platform (including remote monitoring) will be used for the successful management of all long term conditions including Long Covid, mental health interventions and cancer treatments. This is the future of healthcare.”

Lantum and Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership has introduced a system-wide staff bank with Lantum, resulting in 93% fill rates and projecting savings of over £1.1 million after one year.

The programme includes:

  • 736 GPs in the bank
  • Nearly 100 additional staff members, including receptionists and administrative staff
  • 394 practices onboarded onto Lantum, out of 447 total practices in Greater Manchester (88% onboarded within 6 months of the project’s launch)
  •  65 Extended Access Hubs onboarded onto Lantum
  • 92% fill rate across all practices posting on Lantum in Greater Manchester
  • 94% fill rate across all hubs posting on Lantum in Greater Manchester

In addition to the staffing and scheduling benefits, the platform enables Greater Manchester to have better visibility over workforce demand across the area. With monthly reporting, they are able to see how many hours have been posted in total, whether at hubs or at practice sites, as well as how they are recovering from COVID-19, and where that recovery is.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital & Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

In 2021, Liverpool Heart & Chest and Alder Hey Children’s specialist hospitals have come together to create an Integrated Digital Service.

The new service offers both trusts dedicated support teams as well as central teams to manage projects and infrastructure. It provides savings to the trusts, and offers benefits of a consistent approach and the opportunity to share learning.

Both trusts have exciting and ambitious digital strategies with aspirations of attaining HIMSS Level 7 (Alder Hey) and HIMSS Level 6 (LHCH) in the coming months. Combing the digital services teams offers huge benefits to staff with increased chances of progression and an opportunity to input into how the new service is designed via a cross trust staff council.

The entry highlighted the benefits: “The integration of the Digital Service will enable a wide variety of benefits for both organisations. Most notably, there is now an even bigger range of digital expertise at each trust’s disposal, improving the service provision in both organisations where applicable. Not only does it expand the level of skill but also the level of resilience, with multiple teams performing similar roles ensuring there is now a more robust structure in place to cope with leave, sickness, maternity and attrition.

“From the staff on the ground’s perspective, it broadens their horizons in terms of work experience and provides them with an opportunity to gain knowledge of working in both Specialist Paediatric and Cardiac hospitals. There will be a much bigger support network for staff to tap into and facilitates plenty of opportunity for local learning. Finally, it provides a bigger opportunity for staff to develop and grow within the Digital Team with their being more opportunities available.”

University College London Hospitals NHS Trust and the London Ambulance Service

University College London Hospitals has introduced a video-based pre-hospital assessment tool to improve the accuracy of pre-hospital stroke assessment in order to improve treatment for hyperacute stroke, provide better care for non-stroke “mimic” presentations and to support the ambulance service during times of peak strain.

The trust formed a partnership between the University College Hospital Stroke Service and the London Ambulance Service and developed a pathway for an immediate video-enabled shared ambulance crew and remote stroke specialist evaluation to be performed at the time of the crew arrival at the place of symptom onset for residents in NCL.

The trust commented on the benefits: ” the implementation of a video-linked stroke team and on-site ambulance crew assessment resulted in a 50% improvement in assessment accuracy, reduced non-stroke transfers and improved stroke treatment times.”

Findings included approximately half of patients “selected” by the ambulance crews as stroke to be safely diverted to a more local Emergency Department (ED) with a non-stroke diagnosis. They identified that patients with high risk rapidly resolving events could receive definitive treatment in less than 15 hours since onset compared to a standard pathway treatment time of greater than 24 hours and often far longer if initial presentation was via a General Practitioner. This reduced the non-stroke presentations to the hub hospital from 43% of all presentations to 13% and reduced the length of stay of this group.