New technological solutions are to be implemented at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCHT) to help with its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthcare Communications, a patient communications provider, is assisting KCHT to implement a suite of purpose-built technological solutions to improve patient experience and increase staff efficiency. The new technology will help the trust with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and allow the trust to advance its ‘digital by default’ patient engagement strategy, whilst also helping to reduce any backlogs caused by the pandemic before a second spike takes hold ahead of this year’s winter pressures.
Charlotte English, Senior Improvement Lead, King’s College Hospital, said: “We’re dealing with a significant amount of Referral to Treatment (RTT) requests, which has been exacerbated by COVID, so it’s really exciting to be exploring ways in which patients can take more ownership over their care, such as PIFU. We hadn’t really explored this before, and we expect it to reduce our follow-up waiting lists. We’re hoping it will also result in a drop in hospital admissions, which would be fantastic, especially as we enter our winter pressures and with the second wave of COVID looking imminent.”
The hospital will implement the patient portal which is designed to inform patients about the status of their appointments by automatically sending updates and digital letters to their smartphones, relieving staff of these administrative pressures, as well as enabling Patient Initiated Follow-Ups (PIFU), and reducing inbound phone traffic.
The eClinic will help to reduce the number of patients visiting King College Hospital Trust hospitals for non-emergency appointments and will also be used to provide urgent care for patients who cannot attend in person.
Jonathan Lofthouse, Site Chief Executive for the Princess Royal University Hospital said: “At King’s, it has always been our agenda to move to a ‘digital by default position’, which is why we were keen to put digital technology at the forefront of our recovery and reset programmes.
“We firmly believe our richly diverse patient population deserves the very best in healthcare, and to deliver this we often need to reimagine what’s gone before. Using new communication platforms will aid patient self-management, improve the speed, quality, and accessibility of information, increase the quality of our clinical services, and help us to deliver against the future expectation of our patients and clinicians. I’m really very excited about this programme of work.”
In addition to the patient portal and eClinic platform, KCHT will deploy a range of supplementary communication solutions from the patient engagement platform, including instant patient messaging, a patient scheduling bot, virtual assistants and proactive communication channels, and digital remote monitoring of patients.