The Convenzis Outpatient Transformation Conference provides secondary care leaders with direction and insight into the NHS Outpatient Transformation Programme, with presentations from sector-leading speakers, meet the supplier sessions, networking opportunities and interactive Q&A.
Patients are being given greater control and convenience in their appointments using telephone or video consultations and empowering people to book their own follow-up care. This means less time travelling to hospital appointments and in waiting rooms, and better access to follow-up hospital care when needed. The planet also benefits from reducing the NHS’s carbon footprint and contributing to congestion on the roads - as explained further in the 6 drivers for redesigning patient care with virtual consultations.
Following the September Outpatient Transformation Conference, we’ve picked out 3 key takeaways from the days presentations.
1. Acute vs Community
Community Clinics can improve patients experience and meet the needs of their families as well as their own. Some feedback from an Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust survey revealed that
55% of the respondents stated they would choose to attend a clinic closer to home
85% stated they would have no concerns attending a clinic in the community
75% felt there were no disadvantages to attending a community clinic
The following areas were identified as the top benefits to community clinics:
Closer to home (29%)
Easier to travel (22%)
More convenient (20%)
Clinical area not as busy (20%)
Also, as per the 2019 NHS Long Term Plan, community clinics are to become integrated in the future of healthcare. However, there is consideration needed when designing community-based clinics as some patients may prefer to attend hospital over against a community clinic, it’s about getting the right balance and giving the patients choice over their care pathway.
2. Supporting patients at home
There are many challenges on the healthcare system, from the waiting list backlog to the number of DNAs, to the length of discharge procedures. These challenges can all be tackled through new approaches, some that COVID-19 has sped up occurring.
Supporting patients at home can relieve some of the massive pressures, with new flexible pathways through virtual ward dashboards, enabling patient prioritisation and early discharge. It free’s up staff time as well as increasing patient engagement through a more convenient service that reduces cost and increases access.
This can include activities such as remote consultations, instant messaging apps and personalised online portals for recording data and patient learning.
More information on redesigning patient care with virtual consultation is available in our research white paper here.
3. Learning from staff feedback
Both patient and staff feedback is important in implementing the right systems and processes, but more than ever the staff experience must be motivating to ensure continued engagement. Obtaining staff feedback through surveys allows real time results from all staff who respond, giving a wide set of results. This is not a once only task, staff feedback surveys must be continued regularly to see what’s changing and if improvements are successful. Staff feel more valued when they can express their views and contribute to improvements.
“Each day we will have the privilege of meeting people at critical moments in their lives – many will be worried, frightened, sick and suffering - they will share their stories with us and allow us to work with them to help. The gifts of confidence, hope, knowledge and safety can only come from a workforce that feels confident, hopeful, competent and safe themselves” - Professor Michael West