Bijal O'Gara, Theresa Hinde
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Torbay, United Kingdom
Introduction: Surgical waiting times are at their highest ever. Streamlining perioperative processes, optimising long term conditions and improving patient experience whilst waiting for surgery is imperative. We had developed a significant preassessment backlog post COVID with late preassessments causing unacceptable cancellations. We are developing a patient pathway app to provide information, and support active triage of patients for targeted pre-operative assessment, aiming to enable the best possible patient preparation for surgery.
Methods: Analysis of the current patient pathway identified its shortcomings; long waiting lists, and higher than usual late or on the day cancellations.
We have developed a digital pathway reflecting the patient journey, with information about prehabilitation, preoperative expectations, timelines, healthy lifestyle and postoperative advice. A detailed preoperative questionnaire is included to allow for remote preoperative data capture. This will enable appropriate targeting of preoperative assessment nursing time utilising a ‘traffic light system’ : Green-‘fit to go’ with amber and red requiring more dedicated preparation time. Digital postoperative follow up is also included. Patient trials are about to begin.
Results: The final app is designed to be comprehensive, covering every aspect of the patient day surgery elective pathway. Expected outcomes are:
• Increased digital pre-assessment completion
• Nursing time redirected to highest risk patients
• Better perioperative patient preparation
• Improved communication
• Reduced cancellations
Conclusions: The app will improve efficiency and provide accessible ,consistent information. Digital data entry will drive both staff and patient efficiencies and enhance perioperative data collection. Ultimately, with an improved service, patients will be empowered during their perioperative period.