22nd Sep, 2020

New pre-op system saves time and a trip to the hospital

Ross Crawford 14th Jul, 2020

A DIGITAL health history questionnaire is now in use across Worcestershire hospitals, reducing the need for patients to come in before their surgery.

The questionnaire is sent electronically to patients awaiting elective surgery at the Alexandra, Kidderminster or Worcestershire Royal Hospitals, allowing them to complete it at home in their own time.

Around 1,000 patients a month will receive a link to complete the questionnaire, with the results then sent to the pre-operative assessment department where staff can process the patients based on the answers provided.

The new system aims to increase the Trust’s pre-op capacity and enable patients to see the right nurse at the right time.

Whilst the initial roll out of the system started in January, the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of reducing face-to-face appointments where possible.

Rachel Foley, senior sister pre-operative assessment at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We had found ourselves spending an increasing amount of time assessing patients that were fit for surgery and so did not actually require an hour appointment whereas some patients needed longer with a member of the team.

“Our elective surgery patients can now complete their health history questionnaire from the comfort of their own home, in their own time, then submit the answers in real-time to our clinical teams. Frequent attenders will also be able to copy some parts of their pre-op assessments.

“After assessing the answers, our clinical staff can then quickly triage and separate the patients that are fit and ready for their operation and don’t require a full pre-op assessment in hospital from those that do.”

The assessments also allow the team to identify patients at high risk of being unfit for their operation and intervene sooner to ensure they stand the very best chance of their surgery going ahead.

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