Gastroenterology in secondary care

Gastroenterology solution drives departmental efficiency and supports patient self-management

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) is expecting to achieve significant cost and time savings by implementing a new gastroenterology system.

To meet new IBD quality standards as well as participate in the UK IBD registry and UK Biologics Audit, UHS required a system that would efficiently populate audit databases, and provide patients with more knowledge about their conditions to facilitate self-management.

Integrating clinical systems

EMIS Health worked with the UHS IBD team to develop a new integrated IBD solution. The trust uses several EMIS Health clinical systems, including patient administration system (PAS), unscheduled care, and specialised clinical modules. Clinicians have immediate access to all the investigations relevant to the patient including endoscopy, blood tests, histology, pathology and surgical history, without leaving the IBD system, in a meaningful format.

Facilitating supported self-management of care

A key objective was to improve patient self-management. Dr Fraser Cummings, consultant gastroenterologist and lead clinician for the project, said “there is a drive to improve patient knowledge about their conditions to help them self-manage their care.  By enabling clinicians to record real-time data into one system, patients leave hospital fully informed about their conditions, which we hope will reduce health care resource utilisation in the future.”

“We expect to save at least £350,000 per year by improving correct drug use in gastroenterology”

Dr Fraser Cummings, consultant gastroenterologist and lead clinician

Reduced referrals and cost savings

The trust anticipates that they could save around £350,000 per annum using a management system for high cost drugs (anti-TNF biologic drugs), facilitating referral to research teams, and efficient use of nurse and administration time to run Virtual clinics and flare lines. Dr Cummings comments “clinicians and nurses have quicker and simpler access to accurate up to date patient data presented in a clinically meaningful way which saves significant time in the clinics as well as improving patient safety.”  

Improved clinical engagement

Multi-disciplinary teams (MDT) now have one system and a single pathway for each patient in the IBD system. Dr Cummings comments “MDT scheduling and meeting screens are built into our software to remove the need for separate spreadsheets and systems. Patient care is improved by ensuring all decisions are captured and available at any point for reference immediately after meetings.”