More convenience for patients as new systems introduced
16 February 2009
Patients undergoing surgery at the West Suffolk Hospital are benefiting from an innovative new system which allows them to arrange a date for their operation during their very first outpatient visit.
Where possible, the convenient system gives people who are physically fit for their planned surgery the chance to agree a mutually convenient date and complete their pre-assessment tests during their first hospital appointment.
As a result, patients will need to make fewer trips to West Suffolk for appointments before their surgery, while the amount of paperwork they receive will also be reduced.
The new system is being phased in following the installation of computerised waiting list management and theatre information software, called OPERA.
West Suffolk is the first hospital in the region and only the second in England to make use of the software, which is also designed to streamline booking procedures, keep cancellations to a minimum and improve the patient’s experience.
“This new software will help ensure patients enjoy the smoothest possible route to surgery,” said Stephen Myers, Surgery General Manager with West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust.
“The feedback we have received so far has shown us that they really appreciate being able to organise a suitable date for their operation well in advance, avoiding holidays and other appointments. Getting all of their pre-assessment tests out of the way at the same time is another bonus, as it means they will need to make less visits to the hospital before their operation.
“The system also brings benefits to staff and clinicians, as it will improve the management of our surgical waiting lists and help ensure all of our patients are receiving their treatment within 18 weeks of referral.”
West Suffolk plans to expand the system over the next few months so that it can be used to track equipment used for patients. In turn, this will help with infection control and increase the effectiveness of stock management.