COO at UHD says remote outpatient clinic is “proving successful”

Published: 25-Jan-2022

Clinic in department store has seen over 2,689 patients in first month

More than 2,689 patients have been seen at the University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust’s department store outpatient clinic since its launch in mid-December.

The trust has launched the remote Outpatient Assessment Clinic @Dorset Health Village in Beales Department Store in Poole as part of its ‘Think Big’ project to tackle backlogged outpatient appointments.

In addition to the outpatient appointments, COVID Booster vaccinations have also been given at the clinic, which is located inside Poole’s Dolphin Centre.

The technology used to integrate and manage patient data for the project has been supplied by specialist patient flow management software company, Intouch with Health, a VitalHub company.

Mark Mould, Chief Operating Officer at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “One month in, and our remote outpatient clinic at Beales department store is proving successful. On day one, more than 100 patients attended breast-screening, dermatology and ophthalmology appointments at the clinic.

We know some patients have been waiting a long time for appointments and we are determined to do everything we can to help work through our waiting list as quickly as possible.”

Kevin Fletcher, Chief Operating Officer at Intouch with Health, said: “This project is a truly innovative approach to tackling the backlog of outpatient appointments created by the pandemic.

“Intouch with Health was asked to support with a ready-to-go technology package that allowed staff to access and manage the data for patients attending the remote clinic alongside outpatients visiting the trusts three hospitals.

“Integration has been key to the success of this initiative to ensure staff across the whole trust can access a single view of all outpatient appointments taking place, and the associated patient information, at any given time across the four sites.

Mr Mould added: “Our staff are using Intouch’s patient Flow Manager digital dashboard to track each outpatient appointment in session, as well as Wait Time Manager, patient Check-in and patient Calling modules.

“Intouch’s Mobile Appointment Manager app also allows our patients to check in for a scheduled appointment using their smartphone or tablet when they arrive, which supports on-going social distancing and infection measures and provides patients with extra convenience and choice.”

He added: “Our remote outpatient clinic at Beales is one initiative making up the Think BIG project designed to tackle the backlog of appointments. It is part of a novel and ambitious transformation plan to provide high volume, low complexity face-to-face outpatient appointments, using processes developed from the running of the mass vaccine centres.”

The remote clinic has initially been set up for three years, but the trust said it may remain open for longer.

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