A set of studies from Deloitte has identified significant potential economic benefits for acute NHS hospitals from a range of bedside IT services provided by Hospedia, who commissioned the work.
Using these studies, Hospedia has calculated that a typical 500 bed hospital could benefit by over £6m each year by using bedside software systems to improve patient care and streamline clinical workflow. Extending this result across Hospedia’s 158 sites in the UK shows that those NHS hospitals could benefit by over £890m a year. Full copies of the Deloitte reports, upon which Hospedia’s estimates have been based, are available upon request, making clear the assumptions upon which their work is based.
These results come as the Government prepares its Departmental Spending Review, to be announced on June 26. The Spending Review will take place against a backdrop of the debate on NHS ring-fencing and growing pressures on the NHS acute sector to reduce costs while improving patient care, indicating a serious need for Trusts to identify efficiencies to current processes and utilise existing resources to deliver on their Cost Improvement Programmes.
Hospedia point of care systems provide patient media, patient engagement and clinical workflow solutions including: electronic meal ordering; real time patient feedback; patient flow management; and direct access to clinical IT systems at the bedside - allowing Trusts to deliver enhanced clinical support to staff and patients at the point of care, without the need to invest in completely new IT infrastructure.
These services are directly aligned with the Department of Health’s Information Strategy, which aims to transform the way information is used in the NHS, and can play a key role in delivering on the pledge to find £15-£20 billion of savings in the NHS by the end of 2014, the ambition of a paperless health service by 2018, and serve as a robust response to the Francis Report’s call for a more patient-centered focus.
Commenting on the research, Hospedia Chief Executive Tim Weil said:
“We’re delighted that the scale of economic benefits Hospedia’s services can bring has been recognised in the work conducted by Deloitte, suggesting that these services are capable of delivering financial benefits worth at least £6m per annum in a typical hospital. Our services support not only cost improvement goals but also CQUIN targets, greater patient engagement and involvement, improvements in patient care and NHS initiatives such as the drive to become paperless – all alongside releasing vital staff hours that can be redirected to frontline care. Our existing infrastructure really puts us in a leading position to assist the NHS in delivering multi-million pound savings whilst putting patient needs first.”
In more detail, the individual Deloitte reports identify that NHS Trusts have the potential to deliver on key priorities via one or more of the following services:
Making existing Trust IT systems available at the patient bedside can benefit a typical 500 bed hospital by around £400,000 per year, with the potential for further length of stay reducing benefits. It provides staff with decision-making information and data capture in real time, including patient records, reduces reliance on paper-based processes, reduces delays throughout the patient journey and allows for more timely admission and discharge – reducing average length of stay.
Real Time Patient Feedback
Gathering patient feedback at the bedside can give a typical 500 bed hospital £180,000 in the first year, and £100,000 each year thereafter. It supports CQUIN targets and the NHS’s aim for all patients to be able to leave feedback in real time by 2015. The data is considered to be of higher quality than that collected through paper-based surveys and increases response rates providing more representative feedback. It is already being used by a number of Trusts, including for the delivery of the Friends and Family Test
Electronic Meal Ordering (EMO)
Facilitating menu publishing and patient food ordering at the bedside is estimated to deliver benefits of up to £150,000 per year in a typical 500 bed hospital. It can cut significant food wastage, improve patient nutrition leading to reduced length of stay, eliminate significant paper waste and reduce staff time spent on administration.
Extramed Patient Flow Management System (both InPatient and Emergency versions)
The InPatient Flow Management software can deliver up to £4.5m benefits a year per typical 500 bed hospital, while the Emergency Patient Flow Management service can give hospitals approximately an additional £1.3m a year on the same basis. The services allow the staff to visualise hospital capacity instantly and view changes in the status of each patient as it happens, focusing staff time and improving accuracy, reducing average length of stay and reducing infection rates.