Surgery is one of the most important treatments offered by the NHS in secondary care within the UK- approximately 10 million surgical procedures are carried out across all specialities annually. Therefore, it is imperative that the management of these procedures and processes are governed effectively to ensure the patient has the best possible recovery from the surgery itself.
The management of the perioperative process can be very complex as it involves multiple specialties and stakeholders from the initial pre-operative assessment to post operative rehabilitation. It is critical that the implementation of any solution should be completely interoperable with other essential software, but also have full stakeholder engagement from initial planning stage all the way through to deployment, ensuring a seamless integration.
Technology has been a major enabler to healthcare institutions which have delivered high levels of efficiencies and generated significant levels of cost savings. The adoption of a technology based solution has been even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, there was a significant increase in the number of elective surgical procedures being delayed therefore increasing overall waiting times for procedures to take place. The true nature of this backlog has been highlighted in a recent article published by the British Medical Journal “Growing backlog of planned surgery due to covid-19”.
NHS Trusts are now able to take advantage of the solutions to digitise the entire elective surgical care pathway, from preoperative to postoperative. There are many advantages of implementing a digital solution to streamline elective surgical care pathways, some of which include:
Providing a holistic view of the entire surgical process involving multiple specialities including surgical, anaesthetics, pharmacy and surgical administration teams
Effectively manage waiting list and Pre Operative Assessments alongside the management of theatre capacity
Improved collaboration between clinical teams, administration staff and patients helping them to engage and conduct clinical assessments remotely
Improved information governance and alignment with the NHS Long Term Plan Chapter 6 "Put the NHS back on a sustainable financial path"