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Patient Care - Case Study


Business Needs


A key focus is improving the time spent with patients. At present doctors have to return to shared desktops in shared office space to log requests for blood tests, check patients’ records and update files. An experiment in having desktop computers wheeled around wards had proved unsuccessful. There were no portable devices to use on ward rounds, and medical staff were unable to transfer sessions between, for instance, the ward, a consulting office and an outpatient clinic. This not only disrupted patient-facing time, but, as the many different applications required different passwords, made for an environment that was complex and time-consuming.


For clinical professionals this daily frustration of having to manage multiple user accounts was costing time in logging on to different applications. It was not uncommon for clinicians to need up to eight different passwords for various applications, and to spend a quarter of their day on computers. There was no possibility of using a personal device for work purposes. This inefficiency was far from ideal when patients might be allocated just ten minutes face time with a doctor.


“In terms of time spent and practicality, having to enter a password for every system and having to select the patient in every system was just not proving acceptable to clinicians,” says Mark England, Director of Information Management & Technology at L&D, “and frustration is a clinical risk.”


To compound matters, the IT service desk answers 400 requests for password updates each month; this workload ties up its staff and keeps doctors from their work.


“One of our main challenges is resource,” says Sarah Kennedy, IT Service Desk Manager, overseeing a team of 15 responsible for 4,000 user accounts. “We don't have enough resource for the amount of calls we receive on a monthly basis. It is a struggle to meet our SLAs and find the right resource to support the roll-out of new applications.”


Historically, Mark England admits, the healthcare sector has lagged behind in terms of deploying technology to improve productivity, but he believes this culture has changed.


“I think this has been largely due to the complexity of the activity. In other industrial sectors there might only be a few patterns and processes and service lines to support, whereas within healthcare when a patient arrives in A&E they can go down so many different pathways and involve many multidisciplinary teams.”


The challenge for healthcare CIOs, he continues, is to adapt existing systems. “The off-the-shelf, single-supplier solution has been largely disproved over the past ten years. The idea of having a single sign-on solution that knits together these different systems, where the clinician selects the patient and context only once, fits the current state of the healthcare market. It’s a proven, much safer way of delivering benefits sooner.”


37 INSIGHT ON


HOSPITAL & HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT VOL. 3 ISSUE 3 August 2014


“I think this has been largely due to the complexity of the activity. In other industrial sectors there might only be a few patterns and processes and service lines to support, whereas within healthcare when a patient arrives in A&E they can go down so many different pathways and involve many multidisciplinary teams.”


Mark England, Director of Information Management & Technology at L&D


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