How a digitised perioperative pathway allowed Tampere University Hospital to manage 50% more ENT patients preoperatively
Partnership with Buddy Healthcare
TAUH Valkeakoski hospital wanted to improve operational efficiencies and digitise services for its ENT patients using a care-coordination platform.
Historically, patients coming for ENT procedures were guided and supported with a paper-based system that required resource-heavy, manual care-coordination. Its day surgery unit used a time-consuming process with printed instructions and forms that required mailing multiple letters to patients.
Both care teams and patients had to call each other back and forth, which was time-consuming, and it was challenging to reach each other.
In 2018, Buddy Healthcare and TAUH Valkeakoski Hospital’s surgery and anaesthesia units joined forces to transform the process.
New process: Automated care-coordination and personalised digital patient pathways
Tampere university hospital launched its hospital-branded, white-label mobile application to support ENT patients who were preparing and recovering from surgery.
All patient information is now personalised, timed, and delivered directly to their app. Patients receive instructions, in-app questionnaires, forms and questionnaires directly to their mobile app. It ensures patients are better informed and arrive at the right time, to the right place, and properly prepared. It streamlines the communication flow between hospital and patient, and it increases patient compliance.
It also supported a leaner patient care pathway which means a far more simplified process and supports enhancements in information flow on other forms. For example, anaesthesia forms are now being pre-filled with the information the patient provides in their pre-assessment forms.
The digitised process is more efficient and has improved the team's capacity using automation, with enhanced and automated communication via the mobile app requiring significantly fewer pre-surgical phone calls to patients.
And while ENT patients use the mobile app, care personnel use the BuddyCare clinical Dashboard, providing a real-time overview of all patients' activities and progress throughout the care pathway. The care personnel at TAUH Valkeakoski Hospital can now track patients who have not completed all the necessary information before the procedure. The Dashboard also enables two-way communication where patients may contact the hospital personnel and vice versa.
Through the new digitised ENT care pathway, through the app, patients receive:
- procedure information package,
- laboratory appointment reminders,
- combined preoperative assessment/ anaesthesia form,
- pre-surgery checklists and reminders such as fasting, medication discontinuation),
- postoperative instructions,
- feedback forms / PREMs.
Hospital-reported efficiencies in ENT pre-operative care coordination
Before and after: A comparison of 350 digitally guided patients versus traditionally supported patients.
- 50% increase in daily management of patients
- 98% reduced phone calls
- 1h+ pre-operative time saved per patient
- 80% app download rate (all patients)
- 4,6/5 rating given by patients on how easily the app provides all the information
- 4,6/5 likeliness to recommend the app to other patients
Benefits for the Tampere University Hospital’s healthcare professionals
- Significant reduction of inefficiencies associated with phone calls, mailing, and paperwork.
- Time savings, cost reductions, and better-informed patients.
- Improved ENT surgery patients’ coordination processes.
- Patients are more active and thus better prepared when they arrive for their operation. As an example, the pre-operative call was no longer necessary for those patients using the app.
- Digital and automated collection of patient questionnaires has increased the number of submitted PREMs.
- The Buddy Healthcare reporting tool helps the hospital to follow, visualise and analyse PROMs, PREMs and other questionnaires.
- Supports and follows the TAUH digitalisation strategy.
Benefits for ENT surgery patients
- Single-channel communication (hospital branded app) collects all needed information in one location.
- Patient materials are available 24/7, and the information can be read at their own pace.
- Timed reminders and notifications guide patients from preparation to recovery.
- Patients are better informed and aware of the next steps.
- Patients have the possibility to contact the care team from their app.
- Improved patient experience.
About TAUH Valkeakoski Hospital
- Provides outpatient and inpatient treatment and performs same-day and short-stay surgeries.
- The total number of ENT procedures is ~1000 per year.
- Most common ENT procedures: tonsillectomy, tympanostomy, and different sinus surgeries.
- The hospital is part of Tampere University Hospital (TAUH), which provides specialised care services to nearly one million Finns.
TAUH digitisation objectives
- Pioneering in healthcare digitisation in the hospital environment.
- Driving a superior patient experience.
- Creating cost-effective processes.
- Investing in developing digital service models.
- Creating cost-effective processes.