Bleepa achieves CE Mark - Raising the bar for medical communication platforms

Process Improvements & Time Savings

The respiratory team at the Royal Oldham Hospital wanted to improve the referral process and response time for inpatient referrals. As the process was manual and paper based, administrative staff had to manage incoming referrals and distribute them to clinicians in a hard copy format. There was no adequate method to manage referrals electronically or to ensure that all referrals were dealt with in a suitable timeframe.

At the Royal Oldham Hospital, different teams used multiple referral methods for inpatient respiratory referrals. So, firstly admin staff had to manually collect referrals and gather additional or missing information. Secondly, share them with the clinical team in hard copy format. As a result, this lead to referral delays caused by the longer time frames and processes created, with an increased risk of referrals being lost or missed.

Solution: Referral Process

In December 2019, Bleepa was introduced as a pilot to manage inpatient referrals into the Respiratory team. This included an evaluation in January 2020, which led to further development and growth of the pilot, such as to include referrals to the Acute Medical Unit (AMU). However, the pilot was paused in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Yet, Bleepa was later reintroduced after being identified to help track patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

By June 2020, the number of COVID inpatients began to fall. Therefore, the team wanted to look at learnings and apply the features added for COVID to the original project. Mainly, to show how Bleepa gives clinicians the power to remotely view and talk about clinical-grade patient images, straight from the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS). As well as streamlining the referral process and improving efficiency.

Conclusion: Time Savings

Bleepa streamlined the respiratory referral workflow by introducing one point of access for specialist inpatient referrals. Also, Bleepa created a standard for the referral process to include more detail, which informs clinical-decision making and collaboration. Using Bleepa, clinical teams can view their inpatient referral pipeline, triage, communicate, and action referrals from all sources. All in real-time. Therefore, now all clinicians involved in the case can more closely check the status of referrals. Finally, admin staff no longer need to manually process referrals, thanks to the electronic process. Thus, giving them time to work on other tasks, with a reduced risk of missing a referral.

Feedback

“Bleepa has been extremely helpful in managing referrals. Not only does Bleepa make things easier, it also brings about good accountability, and handover between registrars and consultants. There is also scope for evidence of patients seen.”

Dr Kuzhiyanjal Anish Kuriakose
Specialist Doctor Gastroenterology

“What Bleepa has hopefully taken away is the ‘dreaded’ bleep, and some of the other methods of referrals, so that we have one unified referral method.”

Dr Huw Pursell
Gastroenterology Registrar

“Importantly, I expect Bleepa to help us improve staff experience of clinical IT systems and patient referral outcomes. Changing workflow processes will give confidence to referring teams and allow specialty clinicians to work more efficiently. For instance, avoiding being continuously bleeped and interrupted throughout the day.”

Dr Georges Ng Man Kwong
Chief Clinical Information Officer and Respiratory Consultant

Key Facts

Less need for administrative support

With Bleepa, 100% of all inpatient respiratory referrals can be managed without admin support, which frees up time.

Speedier response times

With existing processes, respiratory inpatient referrals take on average 2.1 days for the receiving team to review. With Bleepa, referrals take place within 0.4 days. This is equal to a saving of 1.7 days per referral.

More time for care

It can take on average 7.5 minutes per referral to respond to referrers. Bleepa reduces this response time to less than a minute. And doctors can respond on  Bleepa chat. This saves approximately 6.5 minutes per referral and 5.6 weeks of a full-time clinician’s time a year. If its implemented across all other medical teams, this could save 36.3 weeks of clinical time a year.

Figures based on benefits realisation analysis undertaken by Royal Oldham Hospital.

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