Theatre Management Software
Trisoft’s TheatreMan—theatre management software—is assisting North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust to achieve efficiencies in theatre scheduling and utilisation.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust provides hospital and community based health care to around 365,000 people living in East Durham, Hartlepool, Stockton on Tees and surrounding areas and part of Sedgefield.
The Trust implemented Trisoft’s TheatreMan software some five years ago. Following the appointment of a dedicated Systems Manager, they now actively use data captured by the system to improve performance, utilisation and planning within theatres.
Today populating TheatreMan in real time as patients progress through theatre is becoming part of the daily routine for theatre staff. The information captured alongside the Productive Operating Theatres series is helping the trust identify measureable improvements for now and the future.
Steven Blundell—Systems & Information Manager for Anaesthetics—at the Trust comments: “Using the information rich data in TheatreMan we have already made key changes to improve overall theatre utilisation.
For example, by feeding theatre status data such as over running lists, patient locations and late start information from TheatreMan on to screens in theatres we can give Theatre Coordinators the knowledge to make pro-active decisions to resolve potential issues.
We also—as part of productive theatres—continually monitor sessions starting late. TheatreMan enables us to analyse data to understand the reasons for late starting lists, such as if a patient wasn’t consented, DNA’s, unfit patients. We can then respond to specific issues individually. Acting on this information from TheatreMan has helped us reduce late starts by 30% trust-wide in the last six months.
The data within TheatreMan is not only accessible to theatre staff and system managers it is also available to ward staff. This transparency allows theatre receptionists to focus on their administration duties and ward staff to respond proactively to patient relatives regarding the patient’s progress in theatre. Ward staff can also plan for the return of the patient as data within TheatreMan is linked to that in our Bed Management System to provide a real time status screen. By implementing this system and carrying out a Rapid Improvement Workshop we have increased the number of patients who return from recovery to the ward within 15 minutes of informing the ward. This improves the flow of patients through recovery where we previously had issues with bottlenecks at peak periods.”
Steven continues: “A vast amount of progress has been made to date, but we know there is more data within TheatreMan we can use to drive further efficiencies. We are currently implementing a Patient Level Information and Costing System and by using data from TheatreMan we are able to provide a full cost of the Theatre Episode, allowing for variation in practice to be reviewed. We look forward to using average surgical timings functionality in the future to ensure that our list utilisation is maximised and effective scheduling achieved.
QI Case Study—Broomfield Hospital
Broomﬁeld Hospital in Chelmsford is the main hospital site of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust and houses A&E services and the regional burns and plastic centre.
Following Trisoft's commercialisation of QI – which was originally pioneered by Dr Ronan Fenton, Consultant Anaesthetist – the trust is now starting to reap beneﬁts from the solution.
Christopher Wright, Consultant Anaesthetist, of Broomﬁeld hospital explains: "We implemented QI as a computerised anaesthetic record assessment system to replace the previous – largely paper-based – system for pre-operative assessments.
By using QI we have been able to improve the patient experience by bringing together – in one document – the myriad of questions asked of patients when admitting them into hospital for an operation. Moving to a computerised assessment has also helped improve patient safety by removing the risk of legibility errors.
Our pre-operative assessment questionnaires are tailored to patient responses and score risk to help identify potential problems quickly. We can also include electronic attachments such as laboratory results, GP letters and X-ray image ﬁles to the system which are accessible and legible to all healthcare professionals. This reduces costly administration by removing reams of hand written illegible notes in patient records.
The reports generated by QI allow us to ensure essential resources are available to minimise the late cancellations of operations, and the clarity of the reports helps reduce the risk of errors and improves information transfer between clinicians. Using the QI system and by making improvements to our processes we have been able to drive down the cancellation on the date rate for our operations from 8% to less than 1%."
The process for collecting, sharing and accessing vital patient information has also become much more efﬁcient with QI as Dr Fenton explains: "Clear legible communication is vital when a patient is seen by more than one person before an operation. QI allows assessments to be conducted by phone or in person, to gather previous clinical history, record current medical conditions, medications, vitals and allergies.
The system then generates a report bringing together all the investigations and patient answers for Anaesthetists both inside the hospital and for health care professionals providing post-operative care in the community to view online from any Trust location – removing the need for hard copy circulation, storage and retrieval."
The uniﬁed assessment approach facilitated by QI is clearly delivering results, not only improving work ﬂow and access to information but ensuring the patient experience is a positive and safe one.