HTN Now Awards 2021 feature: outstanding digital pathways in the UK

While looking at the entrants for the HTN Now Awards 2021, we came across so many great ideas and innovations that we decided to share the detailed submissions with our readers.
On Friday 22 January, we’ll find out the winners in each of our awards categories. But before that, here are some fantastic case studies from our ‘Excellence in Digital Pathways’ section, which showcases examples of how technology has supported new ways of working and enabled services to shine in different ways.
If you need inspiration for your own digital transformation, here’s some food for thought…
Healthcare Communications helps with waiting list management
Healthcare Communications saw that ‘at risk’ patients with declining conditions could be ‘quickly identified and prioritised’ by digitising the prescribed NHSE/I Waiting list letter.
Using their pathway, thousands of letters can be ‘instantly delivered to patient smartphones via an SMS link’, which provides each with access to both the digital letter and triage eForm, via a web-based Patient Portal.
The company tells us that, prior to COVID-19, ‘waiting list management was often completed by staff manually’ but that with the ‘sheer volume of appointment backlog’ as well as staff shortages, postal delays and the ‘inability to track receipts’, this is a huge undertaking.
Instead, their work enables a quick and easy digital triage, with responses returned in real-time, and allows patients to update hospitals on their condition, as well as informing when they want to receive care.
As well as providing immediate ‘risk stratification’, other benefits are trackable delivery and interactions, inclusive engagement that includes translation in 100 languages, and that the solution could remove ‘hours of staff admin time’.
Currently, 11 trusts are validating their waiting list this way, including Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT). As per Healthcare Communications, MFT has:

communicated with 100% of their inpatient waiting list
found that 64% of patients accessed their letter digitally
discovered that 84% of patients then completed their eTriage form
Learnt that 74% remained on the waiting list, but 8% could be removed and 18% asked to be delayed, delivering 26% extra capacity.

According to Healthcare Communications, patients without digital access will automatically receive communication from another channel option including phone, live agent and post – the info from which is consolidated in one list without any staff intervention.
Definition Health Limited’s apps for families
Definition Health’s solutions include a range of apps, such as LifeBox e-POA, Secure Virtual Clinic and Recovery Forms. The aim of these, the company tells us, it to ‘efficiently refocus limited hospital resources and pre-assessment staff time’, identify ‘patients’ individual needs early on’ and offer ‘substantial financial savings’.
Posited as a solution to ‘huge pressure on elective services’, ‘growing backlogs’, and restrictions on outpatient appointments and theatre capacity, Definition Health says its offering for surgical patients has been ‘proven to reduce face-to-face pre-assessment appointment time by more than half’.
Benefits from its resources can include the ability for out-of-hospital assessments, more patient control over care, reductions in travel and no-show appointments and improved patient reassurance.
It adds that its work with one NHS customer ‘allowed them to save almost 10,000 hours of pre-assessment time and over 2,000 hours of outpatient time’.
The available services include:

Secure Virtual Clinic – a module which offers a video consultation function and two-way file transfers between patient and hospital.
The LifeBox e-POA – this module provides patients with access to a web-based app where they can provide their full medical history via a questionnaire, which is then remotely reviewed by a nurse who can triage the patient.
Recovery Forms – tracks the patient’s wellbeing to ‘continually update caregivers’ on the patient’s recovery status. This includes continued file sharing of materials, such as instructions, to support the recovery, and image uploading.

Vantage Health and the validation of referrals
Vantage Health’s partnership with Oxfordshire CCG has meant the company’s AI platform, Rego Care Navigator can ‘automatically validate referrals against pathways, helping clinicians to direct patients to the right provider’.
The case study is Oxfordshire CCG, which is hoping to relieve the pressure of its increasing demand on local secondary service. It had highlighted ‘inconsistent use by GPs of the latest pathway guidance when referring patients’, as a target area that was resulting in patients not being directed to the most appropriate care, delays in treatment and ‘sub-optimal use’ of NHS services.
The CCG commissioned Vantage Health to use its platform to ‘ensure referrals were of high quality and validated against local criteria’.
Solutions 4 Health supports families
Solutions 4 Health (S4H) is a clinical, lifestyle, social care, and technology services company that wants to ‘tackle health inequalities’ and innovate in the public health space.
S4H identified that ‘children are becoming overweight at an increasingly younger age’ with 28% of children nationally, aged between two to 15, classed as ‘overweight or obese’.
While it also found that mental health issues, compounded by COVID-19, are ‘increasingly impacting families’ with 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems being parents.
With all this in mind, the technology company offers two initiatives that it hopes will support families.
The two digital projects are:

Ask Teddi – an interactive, AI-powered mobile app that combines conversational AI with evidence-based data, insights from professionals, resources from ‘trusted sources’, and user feedback. It enables families to have ‘24/7 on-demand’ access to expert advice in a wide range of areas such as breast feeding, baby health, postnatal depression and questions around children’s vaccines.
Camp Island – an ‘evidence-based game’ that supports children between five and 10 to make ‘healthy choices’ through education, animations and fun. Using the Family Partnership Model & NICE guidelines, combined with ‘expert, practitioner, and user feedback’, it helps children learn about topics such as diet, nutrition, exercise, sleep, hygiene and mental health. 

Feedback’s Bleepa tool saves time for Pennine Acute Hospitals
Feedback’s Bleepa tool is a medical imaging-based platform that can improve patient care by enabling quick and secure remote communication between clinicians.
Said to be ‘designed by clinicians for clinicians’, it offers a state-of-the-art messaging app that means medical staff can securely view and discuss ‘high quality medical grade images’ on mobile devices.
As for a real-world example, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust reported a reduction in referral time of ‘7.4 days to under one’.
Fysicon UK software makes impact at Royal Papworth
Fysicon UK’s innovative implantable cardiac device monitoring enables medical staff to track both patients and their devices over time.
Their case study, which we have also discussed in our remote monitoring feature, is a new database at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Trust. As well as reviewing patient data, it can also be used to evaluate performance and reduce unnecessary interventions.
Bypassing manual input, data is ‘instead captured digitally’ and sent to the DataLinQ CRM software, where it can be ‘exported to EMR (electronic medical records) with just one click’ and collated in one location.
The system offers obvious benefits that include saving time, secure data transfers, reducing mistakes and waste and providing ‘instant availability of information’, along with compliance with mandatory national databases.
Spirit Digital’s CTV supports safe discharge
You can already read all about Spirit Digital’s CliniTouch Vie (CTV) platform in our remote monitoring awards feature.
Also a submission to the digital pathways section, its aims were wide-reaching as it attempted to support healthcare professionals and providers with technology to help increase capacity and to reduce both face-to-face contact and demand for admissions.
At Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), Spirit Digital has provided its innovative digital health platform CTV within the Heart Failure and Respiratory Rehabilitation team.
From 20 April 2020, it could discharge ‘a number of patients’ from community hospitals and monitor them remotely through the technology. And the result was that home visits dropped by an impressive 35.1% per patient.
LPT’s use of CTV has since expanded to include digital, remote access to Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, a supervised programme for patients with certain lung conditions and a digital pathway for symptomatic COVID-19 patients post-discharge from hospital.
Don’t forget to check out our other awards categories. And keep tabs on the award presentations through Twitter on Friday, from 11am.
The post HTN Now Awards 2021 feature: outstanding digital pathways in the UK appeared first on htn.

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