Making clinical task management safer and more efficient at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
In 2019, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) appointed Infinity Health to revolutionise care coordination for patients across its short-term assessment, rehabilitation and reablement service (STARRS).
STARRS supports patients who might otherwise have to stay in hospital or be admitted following an A&E attendance or deterioration of a medical condition to be discharged safely to their homes. The service runs 365 days a year, has ~100 staff, and supports almost 9,000 patients annually.
STARRS’ staff visit acutely unwell patients or patients recovering from surgery, and carry out clinical tasks which may include urgent blood tests to diagnose possible life-threatening conditions, clinical observations and checks for signs of serious infection, managing exacerbations of long-term conditions, and drug administration.
Previously, the service had been using an outdated system and handwritten paper lists to manage its clinical and operational tasks. Staff would print out their task list in the morning, take it with them to patient visits, and add handwritten notes and observations throughout the day. They would then return to the hospital base and dictate their notes to the service’s lead clinician, who would transcribe relevant information manually into the system and plan additional tasks as appropriate.
This process was inefficient and involved significant duplication, as the same information was exchanged across paper and digital platforms multiple times in one day. Staff returning to base to relay the results of their visits also used valuable time. Additionally, using paper to record information comes with its own risks, such as loss, damage, or ineligible handwriting, which could result in critical information not being received and acted upon.
The solution and impact
- More efficient, safer communication
- Tasks accessible from any location
- Progress and information updates in real-time
- Digital platform fit for purpose
Infinity Health now provides its digital task management platform for STARRS staff, who as a result no longer use handwritten notes or printed lists. Tasks are accessible from any location via Infinity, and their status, notes, and other information can be updated in real-time, directly from visit locations. This is helping to reduce the length of individual handovers, and the visibility given to managers enables them to keep track of patients’ progress and treatment, and support the clinical team more easily throughout the day.
“Infinity is wonderful, it has been the best thing for our team… When I log in, I have instant access to patients’ details, including management plans, and I have a clear picture of what I need to do. Before, we just had handwritten notes in a book, and we had to look so much up. It took so much time, and it was easy to miss things.”
STARRS Senior Nurse, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
For staff visiting patients in their homes, information is available on Infinity wherever they are. Some STARRS staff have opted to attend handovers virtually, reducing their combined weekly number of journeys by 14 and saving 10.5 hours a week. This extrapolates to 728 fewer journeys per year, saving 547 hours. With the clinical time released, these staff could each see 365-730 total additional patients per year. If this time saving was realised across the service, STARRS’ capacity to see patients would increase by 27-55%.
Phone calls made to check tasks’ status with clinicians on visits has seen the biggest time saving of more than 1.5 hours per day. Previously, 8-9 calls were made daily, but because of Infinity’s real-time visibility, none are needed. This reduction of 3,103 calls per year gives time back to clinical staff at the point of care.
Overall, the project improves communications within the service in the interest of patients, improving staff experience by releasing extra time to spend on patient care. Easier prioritisation, collaboration, and information-sharing drives optimised flows and increased value for money.
“Infinity Health’s digital task management system makes it easier for my team to prioritise, plan and carry out our daily care work.”
STARRS Head Nurse, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
“Infinity Health are a fantastic partner. They really take user experience seriously by listening and working with people to understand what they need and configuring their tools to meet them. The gains made in other areas of the trust as a result of Infinity Health have been considerable, and we hope to bring these to the STARRS service, staff and patients with this digital platform.”
CIO, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust