EMAS and UHL has jointly designed a pilot scheme to standardise the patient handover process with the goal of saving time in the Emergency Department.
Will Legge, Director of Strategy and Information for EMAS says:
"The aim of the pilot is to prove the concept that small process improvements can positively influence ambulance wait times. We know this is the tip of the iceberg, but by starting small we can measure the effects and resolve some of the issues that result in long ambulance waits.
Unipart has guided us on our journey of discovery, enabling us (as the experts) to design the best pilot scheme possible. By standardising our processes everyone will know what to expect; and the handover process should become much quicker to complete without any risk to patient safety."
This pilot will be run from Monday 7th December until Friday 11th December when all EMAS ambulance crews and UHL Assessment Bay staff will be taking part.
How will it work?
The handover process will incorporate an RSVP approach to the standard assessment process; using visual management to prioritise which patients the Assessment Bay team needs to see most urgently, and to identify which patient has been waiting the longest.
In order to tackle queue sizes, alternative pathways can be identified – such as taking assessed GP referrals directly to the wards, or ambulatory patients to one of the nearest Urgent Care Centre (UCC).
On top of reducing wasted effort from the handover process, other opportunities are to be investigated:
Standardising the layout of each Assessment Bay
Additional support from hospital portering service
Standardising processes and physical layout of the Assessment Bay should yield further time and cost savings usually spent looking for stock replacement or equipment loss.
Benefits of Collaboration
Mags Platts, Emergency Department Sister for UHL who has been working with both teams on the new handover process says:
"So what does the pilot mean for us? It has enabled us to see our own problems, with those of EMAS. We have been helped to capture the root causes of our issues and to identify workable solutions for ourselves. Unipart are Practitioners, not Consultants, which means that they have come on our journey with us to help, not simply given us a plan to deliver on our own. Now we are getting ready to test our solution for real."