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New digital platform which personalises pre-op patient assessment highlighted as example of best practice

The introduction of pre-operative assessment triage is taking a more personalised approach to the individual needs of patients awaiting routine orthopaedic surgery. Potential issues are identified and treated early, leading to fewer procedures being postponed later on. Previously all patients had a face-to-face appointment prior to surgery – now two-thirds of them do not need one. It is part of a regional initiative coordinated by the Oxford AHSN to make better use of NHS staff time, increase capacity and improve patient access, experience and outcomes through digital innovation in elective surgery pathways.

Staff from the NHS England Transformation Directorate visited Oxford University Hospitals in autumn 2022 to see the initiative in action. Now they have added the digital pre-operative assessment triage case study to a national collection of NHS best practice case studies which are shared with NHS organisations looking to carry out similar modernisation.

The software developed by PRO-MAPP Health, a spinout company from the University of Oxford, supports digital pre-op assessments prior to hip and knee surgery. Initial findings indicate better patient management and outcomes, fewer missed appointments (down from 8% in 2021 to less than 1% in 2022), increased capacity, environmental benefits due to fewer journeys to hospital and savings to the NHS.

This is one of four digital technologies which are being evaluated by the Oxford AHSN. The initiative secured funding through the former NHSX Adoption Fund in 2021.

This fund supports digital innovations to improve patient pathways, increase NHS efficiency and help get NHS services back on track following the pandemic.