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Improving NHS productivity: Harnessing digital tools in acute patient pathways

Improving NHS productivity: Harnessing digital tools in acute patient pathways. Includes image of female health professional and older male both standing looking at table screenDigital tools are increasingly being harnessed to benefit patients, improve productivity, ease pressure on NHS services and benefit the environment. We are working with partners in the health service and industry to evaluate and support game-changing developments in acute patient pathways. These include more personalised preparation for surgery and automating check-up phone calls after operations.

The PRO-MAPP pre-operative assessment triage tool is enabling a more personalised for patients awaiting routine hip and knee surgery. Seven out of ten patients no longer need a face-to-face pre-op appointment prior to surgery. Potential issues are identified and treated early, leading to fewer complications later on, and NHS resources are freed up to focus on more complex cases. This initiative has been highlighted as an example of NHS best practice and shortlisted in two categories of the HSJ Partnership Awards 2024.

We have also supported the development of automated phone calls in routine clinical conversations, for example, following cataract surgery. ‘Dora’ is an alternative to hospital visits or a call with a doctor or nurse, providing a reliable, consistent check. By digitally capturing conversations with patients, detailed data can be made available to review outcomes following surgery. Calls can be scheduled for multiple times to track progress and intercept problems. The Oxford HIN has provided extensive support including as a partner in successful funding applications, coordinating patient feedback and exploring potential use in other clinical areas.

‘New name … same aim: Building on a decade of health innovation’