Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has implemented digital solutions which will help the trust deliver personalised follow-up pathways.
Digital technology from Infinity Health and DrDoctor is supporting patients to request follow-up appointments when needed and enabling clinicians to deliver safe follow-up care.
By allowing patients to make appointments when they need one, rather than automatically scheduling them at fixed intervals in their care, the trust can free up clinical time for patients who need the care the most and reduce unnecessary appointments.
Launched as part of the NHS Elective Recovery Programme, the outpatient transformation section is part of an NHS England pilot which aims to meet national targets of moving 5% of patients onto a Patient Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU) pathway by 2023.
The integration of the two companies is supporting the trust to link PIFU lists with patient assessments. The technology is also enabling clinical teams at Norfolk and Norwich to review patients’ follow-up needs remotely.
Once on the PIFU, patients are empowered to decide when they need a follow-up appointment and request it at a convenient time and date through DrDoctor.
Sam Higginson, chief executive, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals, said: “We are delighted to be working with DrDoctor and Infinity Health to make it easier for patients to request an outpatient follow-up when they need one.
“Our digital health team has successfully integrated new digital platforms so that specialities can now send online assessment forms to patients to help monitor outpatients with longer-term follow-up needs. This helps to free up clinician time for new appointments, procedures and for outpatients who need us the most.”
The digital task management platform Infinity is integrated with the trust’s patient administration system (PAS) so it can send monitoring and assessment forms to the right patients. Clinicians at Norfolk and Norwich can then use Infinity to review assessments and prioritise patients safely.
In addition, the platform allows them to identify those patients who haven’t completed assessments, so that steps can be taken to ensure there is no risk of patients not receiving care when it’s needed. The solution was first rolled out within gynaecology and has now been extended to a further 17 specialities.
Elliott Engers, CEO, Infinity Health, said: “We are proud to provide clinicians with a tool that gives them the confidence to safely scale Patient Initiated Follow-Up to more of their patients. We expect this project to significantly reduce unneeded follow-up appointments and provide the capacity needed to reduce waiting times for patients.
“We are pleased to integrate with DrDoctor and together, we plan to scale the benefits of personalised follow-up to more patients and provide a step-change in the way clinical teams coordinate outpatient services.”
Tom Whicher, CEO at DrDoctor, added: “What’s exciting about our integration with Infinity Health at NNUH is how it will pave the way for a truly end-to-end elective recovery solution for the trust.
“Personalised follow-up which suits individual patients is the way forward and we’re really excited to be able to partner with Infinity Health to provide clinicians with a holistic view of the patient pathway as well.”
Last month Norfolk and Norwich turned its attention to transforming its maternity care pathway, when it introduced the Perfect Ward mobile app, moving away from a paper-based auditing system.