Reducing hospital visits with digital pre-assessment | News

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Reducing hospital visits with digital pre-assessment

Adult elective surgery patients coming in for a procedure at Mid Yorkshire will now be able to complete their pre-assessment questionnaire online and at home to help reduce the number of visits to hospital.

Traditionally these questionnaires, designed to collect up-to-date information, such as recent medical history, current medication and lifestyle choices, were carried out face-to-face. This process could sometimes take up to an hour with an experienced clinician and was also paper-based.

The questionnaire will be sent electronically to adult patients who are awaiting elective surgery. This move to a digital questionnaire will allow patients to complete some of their pre-assessment from the comfort of their own home, as well as helping to free up clinician time and contribute to the Trust’s efforts to create more paperless records.

Completing part of the pre-assessment away from hospital will not only reduce stress but will also reduce unnecessary hospital visits and associated travel. Additionally, completing pre-assessment at home enables patients to have the support from family and friends if needed during the process and means access to medical history is more readily available.

The results will then be sent to the pre-operative assessment department where staff can triage and process patients accordingly, based on the answers provided. 

Keely Robson, Director of Operations for the Division of Surgery at Mid Yorkshire, said: “We hope that the introduction of digital pre-assessment will improve the surgical experience for our patients. Sometimes it can be quite stressful when you are put on the spot to answer questions about your lifestyle, or even remember the names of medication you need to tell us about.

“Receiving detailed patient information earlier in a patient’s surgical pathway, as LifeBox enables us to do, will also mean that we can optimise patient care and safety, as we can identify patients’ individual needs earlier. It also means we can ensure we have the right allocation of clinical staff much more in advance. This not only provides a better experience for our patients but it’s better for our staff too. Of course we understand that this digital solution will not work for everyone, and we will work with patients to provide suitable alternatives as needed.

“With the backlog of elective operations caused by the Covid pandemic, digital pre-assessment is another way to help increase efficiency and capacity.”

Although LifeBox is initially being piloted within adult elective surgery, it is planned to be rolled out to other specialties across the Trust.

The launch of LifeBox has been delivered in partnership with digital healthcare provider Definition Health.

Find out more about LifeBox.

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