Typical Benefits:

healthcare benefits elective theatre cancellations reduced by 85 percent
healthcare benefits elective throughput increased 25 percent

The Challenge

In the 2015/16 financial year, the number of patients across the NHS waiting 18 weeks or longer from referral to treatment rose by 50% (201,424 in April 2015 to 302,908 in April 2016 - NHS England Statistical Work Areas).

From April 2016 to October 2016, this rose by a further 20% to 360,255 with almost 1 in 10 patients now waiting 18 weeks or longer for treatment.

Given that over 90% of NHS Acute Trusts experienced a financial deficit in 2015/16, it goes without saying that this trend is not sustainable. However, as the continuation of the trend suggests, the majority of Trusts are struggling to overcome this issue given the significant financial and operational constraints they are already experiencing.

The only solution is to improve the effective utilisation of existing resources.

A targeted and proven solution

The end-to-end elective pathway model addresses this challenge through the following key interventions:

  • Demand and capacity modelling – Implementing a demand and capacity management tool to:
    • Visualise and track demand trends and waiting times to align capacity to demand across specialties
    • Track patient waiting times within a specialty to effectively manage consultant resources within outpatients and theatres to maximise throughput
  • 6 week planning model – implementing a visual 6 week planning tool aligned to consultant rotas to:
    • Visualise clinic and theatre plans to easily identify under booked session.
    • Allow booking teams to manage and populate schedules 6 weeks in advance, preventing short term planning and firefighting
  • Bed capacity modelling – implementing a visual scheduling tool to:
    • Predict bed demand based on theatre activity mix, enabling booking staff to allocate
      procedures to align bed demand to available bed capacity
    • Enable advanced planning and sequencing of theatre sessions

These interventions are underpinned by the implementation of a problem solving methodology and an end to end management framework that visualises the process, promotes communication and collaboration across specialty services and highlights areas of underutilisation. This equips the operational teams with the tools and capability to effectively manage and overcome future problems, improving the flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness of the services.

 

Typical benefits

Our Elective Care Pathways solution delivers benefits far and wide. We have delivered:

  • Increased revenue from improved productivity of clinics and theatre sessions – Delivered a 25% increase in outpatient throughput and a 20% increase in theatre throughput to our clients, with additional revenues exceeding £3m per year
  • Improved theatre utilisation – Reduced late starts and early finishes by 20% and 27% respectively
  • Reduced costs by eliminating the need for waiting list initiatives – Cut waiting list initiative spend by up to 100%, saving our clients in excess of £500,000 per year
  • Reduced RTT waiting times and therefore fines – Delivered up to an 84% and 33 week reduction in average RTT waiting times, reducing annual fines by up to £360,000 in an individual specialty
  • Increased effectiveness of pre-operative clinics and surgical wards – Increased total specialty throughput by up to 10%
  • Reduced short and long term cancellations (Reduced last minute cancellations due to no beds available by up to 85%)
  • Improved effectiveness – Reduced inappropriate referrals by 20% and DNA’s by 50%
  • Improved patient experience – Increased patient satisfaction from 84% to 94%

Related and Recent Articles