The Hillingdon Memory Service has halved the referral to diagnosis time for patients with memory loss, following the implementation of SystmOne Appointments and Tasks functionality.
This award-winning digital transformation project has reduced operational inefficiencies and has seen the service’s waiting times drop from 360 days to 180 days. SystmOne has played a key part in this success and has enabled the service to easily consolidate diaries and simplify methods of communication.
Dr. Nazar Afif Mansour, Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry, explained the challenges the service faced prior to the project. Previously, the service had multiple diaries and had difficulties managing patient appointments, particularly with follow-ups and tracking patients who missed their scheduled appointments. Another significant challenge was the use of multiple communication mediums between staff throughout the service’s complex multi-disciplinary pathways; complicating referral pathways and causing process bottlenecks.
SystmOne has allowed the service to fully digitise and rationalise appointment diaries, bringing all appointments onto a single screen used by all clinicians and administrative staff. This has made it much easier to track DNAs and ensure that appropriate action is taken following the outcome of an appointment.
The service also introduced Tasks as a way of managing communications between staff, providing a single platform for all communication. A central screen provides a full audit of communication and allows staff to easily see the decisions being made about a patient’s care. Staff have also adopted Task Flags functionality. This ensures that the most important tasks are actioned promptly and has reduced the administrative time spent prioritising staff workload.
Practitioners have found that directly tasking the doctors to request brain scans has streamlined the referral pathway and significantly reduced the time it takes for patients to receive a scan.
Strong engagement with clinicians was key to the success of the project, and has resulted in teams feeling more in control of their caseloads, with improved communication methods saving staff time. The service has also received lots of positive feedback via the Trust’s Friends and Family Test portal.
Asked for advice to others facing similar challenges, Dr Nazar said “I strongly suggest to use this project in CAMHS and all multi-stage clinical contacts which require multiple disciplines to reach diagnosis and treatment.”
Dr Nazar is also optimistic that the positive outcomes of this project can be achieved in other services within the Trust, improving communication and reducing risk of serious incidents in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
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