The Chair of NHS Providers has praised Chase Farm hospital’s digital overhaul of outpatient appointments.

Speaking following a digital healthcare event at the London Stadium organised by Intouch with Health, Dame Gill Morgan said the hospital was “making the best of all the technology they’ve got to transform the experience for patients, for staff and for them financially as an organisation.”

Part of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Chase Farm reopened to the public in September 2018 following a significant overhaul, which included the go-live of a new electronic patient record (EPR).

The north London hospital subsequently achieved HIMSS Stage 6 rating, and invited Digital Health News for an exclusive tour of the new facilities.

The revamp included the introduction of new technologies to manage the outpatient journey, including self-check in kiosks for arriving patients and the ability to track the location of patients throughout their visit.

Chase Farm has also implemented an electronic appointment outcome form, enabling clinicians to record procedure and referral to treatment codes, or create a digital flag to request the creation of a follow up appointment.

The outcome form has achieved a 99% completion rate by clinicians every month since its introduction.

Dame Gill: “If we really are going to deliver the ten-year agenda, then we need to be thinking in a different and more integrated way about all the components.

“Digital, for me, is not about a set of things to do, but a way of thinking about the opportunities and linking digital and technology together with transformation and workforce.

The event included a presentation from Jonathan Lofthouse, director of improvement at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, on leading a project to improve patient experience and increase clinical efficiency through technology at Aintree University Hospital.

Lofthouse said: “Some of the most significant challenges within the NHS include how we transform at pace within what is clearly a very challenging financial environment.”

“What we have learned from our work with Intouch with Health is that when you work in partnership with a company and are confident in the product they supply, you can release both financial and operational efficiency benefits in very quick order…..ultimately to enhance the patient experience and the clinical experience of staff working within organisations.”

Mike Sanders chief executive at Intouch with Health, said: “The objective of the day was to provide a platform for teams from trusts across the UK to share information and best practice, and I believe we achieved it.

“There was a strong sense of camaraderie among colleagues from different trusts, all of whom were keen to share their experiences, both positive and negative, of changing the face of the NHS using digital.”

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to redesign services over the next five years to avoid up to a third of face-to-face outpatient visits, including through the use of digital.

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