"Our patients can now start their pre-assessment journey at the earliest possible point in their pathway"
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has launched digital pre-operative assessments across its three hospitals.
The trust has introduced Synopsis iQ and Synopsis Home at Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, and Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.
Speaking about the project, Sarah Gold, Head of Quality Assurance, said: “As part of our Covid-19 recovery plan, digital pre-operative assessment quickly became a real priority. We had been exploring a digital solution to replace our paper-based pre-operative assessment process for some years, and then the pandemic hit.
“As with trusts across the country, we had patients waiting longer than we would have liked them to for planned surgery.”
She continued: “Our patients can now start their pre-assessment journey at the earliest possible point in their pathway, which gives us the opportunity to triage them once they are listed and have completed their pre-operative assessment questionnaire out of hospital using Synopsis Home.
“This will help us ensure every patient is on the correct pathway for them, be that a straightforward one, or one that requires early specialist intervention from our anaesthetic team.
“The technology will also help us reduce unnecessary communication between teams by making each patient’s pathway visible to all relevant staff via a central digital dashboard that integrates fully with our PAS, EPR and theatre scheduling systems. This will make a significant difference to the efficiency of our elective surgery process.
She added: “As with any new technology, there is always a degree of concern and trepidation at first, but once the team saw and understood the system, they could really associate it with how it would help us solve many of the daily issues that cause the biggest challenges in pre-assessment.
“For example, all MDT communications and documentations can happen within the Synopsis dashboard, meaning our pre-assessments will be completely visible, transparent, and accessible to all members of our pre-operative assessment teams, at any time, across the trust.
“When we learned about Synopsis, we felt strongly that the platform was designed with equal consideration given to the requirements of both the patient and specialist pre-op staff using it and that it would support our recovery plan. The benefits really did speak for themselves, and it was clear each time we learned more about the platform that it was the right digital solution for the trust.
“We are in the early stages of using the platform, but I am confident it will be a great success for us”.
Michael Applewhaite, regional sales director at Synopsis, said: “Like many trusts, the team at Hampshire is now navigating a backlog of elective surgeries postponed because of the pandemic.
“Immediate access to real-time information is crucial when trying to establish how many patients on the waiting list still wish to go ahead with their operation, identify patients who may have deteriorated physically or medically, or who have other long-term comorbidities that may affect their suitability for surgery.
“Using Synopsis Home and Synopsis iQ means the trust can quickly triage and identify patients that are fit and ready for their operation while focusing on those who require a more detailed, hospital-based assessment, all while benefitting from clinical decision support, referrals data, replies and completed risk assessments being instantly accessible via a central digital platform.
“This will be important to help the trust get as many elective surgery patients as possible assessed and prioritised in the shortest time frame, following the delays caused by the pandemic.
“I’d just like to thank the entire team at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who have been a pleasure to work with throughout the planning and deployment process, and we look forward to continue to work closely with them.”
Since its launch in 2020, more than 10,000 patients have used Synopsis Home to complete a pre-operative questionnaire outside of hospital, with over 165,000 pre-op assessments completed at hospital using Synopsis iQ.