Streamlining Healthcare Services to Improve Patient Satisfaction

healthcare

Healthcare in the UK is supplied in two ways: privately and publicly. Public provision of healthcare is done through the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS consists of organisations with a focus on improving, preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental and physical health problems.

The NHS has been under intense pressure throughout the pandemic to make the best of its resources and people

Access to healthcare is a critical part of British culture, but with the fallout of the Covid Pandemic, the NHS is struggling to recover budgets and in providing backlogged services, with waiting lists for hospital treatment rising to nearly 7.5 million in January 2023.

Trends in access to treatment have seen an increase in people trying to access NHS services following the pandemic which saw a rapid decrease in people seeking health care. The NHS has to respond to this demand and provide service to those seeking support and treatment.

Responsiv has worked with various NHS trusts and healthcare providers in the UK, helping them improve and streamline the services they provide to their patients, as well as improving staff satisfaction.

Video: Asthma Care Pathway on Responsiv Unity

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Patient Service

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Nuffield Trust - NHS Dissatisfaction Chart

The post-pandemic treatment backlog means patients are seeing prolonged delays for seeing healthcare professionals of all capacities. This has led to high dissatisfaction towards the NHS (see figure 2).

The capacity for patients has decreased since the pandemic. The delays in care have raised doubts in quality of care and safety. The backlog, handover and waiting time delays have become critical to the lives of patients

Without sufficient capacity, it becomes nearly impossible to move patients along the pathway in a timely way. This lack of capacity is also effected by the increased demand of services. 

 

Improving patient services looks to be at the heart of the NHS’ long term strategy.

Optimising booking services and providing online communication channels can help alleviate some of the strain on accessing treatment. Removing this struggle of booking appointments will help in altering patient attitudes to getting treatment. Ultimately, the sooner a patient gets help, the easier it is to treat them. 

Alternatively, if patients can access help online for smaller issues, they may feel they do not need to visit the GP or A&E. This will take the strain off staff, and allow them to focus on the high-risk patients.

Streamlining treatment pathways can also reduce the time of diagnosis for patients requiring drawn out treatment plans, such as scans or getting specialist insight. To do this, healthcare providers can use process automation to remove bottlenecks, increase productivity, and improve communication.

Responsiv Consulting provide process discovery workshops to uncover and record your business process requirements, the technical skills to build automated processes and integrate relevant systems, as well as the skills to deploy and manage any solutions we create.

With access and expertise in industry leading technologies and products that allow us to securely and reliably integrate and automate businesses, we can provide an integrated care solution that can be securely accessed by the necessary partners and users. Responsiv Unity and Responsiv Cloud platforms can help provide efficient communication between clinical teams; share data, unite information, processes, and users.

This means organisations can design, build, and deploy care pathways on-prem or on the cloud, to improve the efficiency of patient service. Reduce treatment lead times by optimising processes.

Responsiv has previously designed and built an Asthma Care Pathway on Responsiv Unity to demonstrate how patient data can efficiently flow through the process and different specialist departments to streamline an integrated diagnosis.

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    sustainability

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    The NHS accounts for 25% of public sector carbon dioxide emissions in the UK and 5% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

    Whilst the NHS is coming under increasing pressure to reduce its environmental impact, the health and social care system is also facing an unprecedented financial challenge. Sustainable practice and measures could be the way to address both these issues. 

    Reducing the negative effects of air pollution and greenhouse gas emission will help in clearing the air quality in the UK, in turn improving public health issues that arise from the environment including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, deaths related to adverse weather events (such as flooding), and deaths due to extreme hot and cold weather.

    The NICE strategy 2021-2026 states:

    To deliver our ambition, we will lead globally on the potential to include environmental impact data in our guidance to reduce the carbon footprint of health and care.”

    Data is the way forward.

    Sustainability is a key focus for all industries. The NHS aims to reach net zero in its supply chain by 2040.

    Using environmental impact data from supply chains, material and energy usage, healthcare providers can share sustainable practices with investors and stay compliant with government policies. Monitoring sustainability practices means healthcare providers need trusted solutions that will provide real time data to create reports.

    Furthermore, using digital tools and technologies allows for carbon savings. This can be done through a cloud first approach, using collaborative virtual tools and embedding sustainability with digital services development.

    IBM Envizi is IBM’s answer to ESG reporting, allowing organisations to record, track, and monitor their energy and usage data. Envizi presents this data in consumable and adjustable screens to allow for report building and decision making based on real-time information.

    Responsiv’s skills in integration means we can work with organisations to connect their systems and data directly to IBM Envizi (or their chosen ESG platform) so they can streamline ESG reporting.

    This data can then be shared as necessary with supply chain partners and consumers as per sustainability regulations such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

    Responsiv Cloud is hosted on tier 3 UK datacentres. This means they conform to the UK’s grading standards for datacentre security, sustainability, and continuity. Our Cloud offerings are flexible, allowing for scalability as necessary with value based pricing models.

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      Business Cost

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      Managing the cost of service and administration is key for the NHS to maintain and improve the way they treat patients.

      In 2021/22 the total cost of NHS staff was £66.2 billion, amounting to 45.2% of the NHS’ total budget and does not include those salaries of GPs, or national bodies such as NHS England.

      As the Covid prop-up budget is scaled back, the total budget for 2022/23 is reduced from that of 2021/22. Despite government commitments to maintain the NHS budget, the effects of inflation will mean the budget will flatline through to 2024/25 and onwards.

      So what does this mean for the NHS? Business costs will increase with inflation, and for a service already struggling with budget constraints, this will negatively affect the NHS’ ability to deliver health services for the British public.

      The service must improve business efficiency in order to provide the same or improved levels of service and treatment to patients with a lower budget. This can be achieved by streamlining processes and triaging patient treatment effectively to ensure people are seen when necessary and with less delays.

      As a result of increased demand for services and constrained resources, the NHS is facing financial challenges.

      To combat the challenge, healthcare providers should streamline their processes. This could include automating repetitive tasks, allowing staff to focus on patient care or connecting disparate systems to improve communication between departments.

      Another way to reduce business cost is using third party support for technological needs. Interoperability looks to be a focus for the NHS, connecting people and systems to improve efficiency. Using a third party provider or a managed service removes the need for a full team of in-house skills. Contracts can act on a credit-based model that allows organisations to utilise support when needed or use a subscription based model with managed services.

      Responsiv can support your automation needs in multiple ways.

      Responsiv Unity and Responsiv Cloud platforms allow organisations to host process automation software and business rules to maximise staff efficiency, mitigate risks associated with skills shortages (managed service), and deliver secure self-service capabilities to internal and external stakeholders.

      Click here for more information on the Total Cost of Ownership for Responsiv Cloud Automation Platform.

      Responsiv Assist is our remote technical support offering. Credit-based, it can be utilised only when needed for software support – upgrades and patches, training sessions, troubleshooting, license and certification monitoring, document reviewing, etc.

      These solutions have been created to be cost-effective for organisations with no hidden fees when you want to scale your software. 

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        collaboration

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        The 2022 Health and Care Act introduced new legislative measures that aim to make it easier for health and care organisations to deliver joined-up care for people who rely on multiple different services, building on earlier recommendations by NHS England and NHS Improvement. Among a wide range of other measures, the Act also includes targeted changes to public health, social care and the oversight of quality and safety.

        The framework aims to facilitate greater collaboration between the NHS (internally and externally), local authorities, and other partners through integrated care systems.

        This will improve the way information is shared between necessary partners and services.

        To accomplish higher levels of collaboration, secure and highly available business integration will be required.

        Automating processes, workflows, and data collection will ensure accuracy and timeliness to improve turn-around of service and information sharing across a single and multiple organisations. The first step to achieving this is understanding the business requirements, environments, and systems.

        Interoperability is a focus for the NHS, connecting departments, partners, and staff to key data. Utilising integrated ways of working will enable staff and patients to manage care more efficiently as the right stakeholders can be engaged with the right data at the right time.

        Additionally, interoperability can reduce errors by reducing the need to rework as data is taken directly from the system of record, and allows patients using apps to access their own medical information in real-time.

        Ensuring interoperability will avoid delays in diagnosis, speed up the process of putting a patient on the right pathway, and prevent tests from being repeated unneccessarily if data is not shared with the correct departments.

        Responsiv has experience working with organisations to understand the ins and outs of their business processes and systems. This is our bread and butter.

        With access and expertise in industry leading technologies and products that allow us to securely and reliably integrate and automate businesses, we can provide an integrated care solution that can be securely accessed by the necessary partners and users.

        Responsiv has previously designed and built an Asthma Care Pathway on Responsiv Unity to demonstrate how patient data can efficiently flow through the process and different specialist departments to streamline an integrated diagnosis.

        The Responsiv Jigsaw method is an example of how organisations can implement their own solutions in phases to connect and utilise processes across different businesses.

        Each part of the ‘puzzle’ is built independently and conforms to an agreed “interface framework”. Identical software environments assist compatibility and coordination is based on framework not technology or design details.

        Release schedules and success are independent for each piece of the puzzle. Each part can connect with the larger puzzle and the “interface framework” allows business process and integration automations to be shared. The common platform delivers secure federation and data sharing.

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