Regional health network uses e-pathways to overcome information gaps in healthcare

The Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network (BHFLHN) surgical service team have implemented digital pathways for elective surgery patients that enhance communication, patient risk assessments, and surgery preparation.

The digital patient pathways remove the information gap between patient, medical officers rooms, and hospital teams. 

These gaps can often reduce the effectiveness or delay appropriate care. 

“The e-pathway commences in the surgeon’s rooms and incorporates pre-operative, surgical, post-op management and consumer feedback. Our coordinated approach to surgical preparation gives critical time back to frontline staff to explore new ways to improve patient experience and share learnings to develop new ways of working.” – says Elective Surgery Manager, Kasey Irwin.

The BHFLHN team were recently acknowledged at the SA Health Awards, winning the Enhancing Hospital Care Award for their Elective Surgery Digital Pathway Platform.

Risk factors for surgery are identified earlier 

A digital notification sent to clinicians for follow-up if patients risk factors are outside the clinical lead criteria. This allows for individualised patient care and decision making by staff. 

“The whole surgical journey has been positively impacted with improved efficiency and effectiveness of care, staff workload has reduced, increased access for patients to timely information and optimised theatre utilisation”. – says Irwin.

Feedback from patients is very positive and shows that most found using the digital pathway helpful with their hospitalisation.

Quote box Patient Experience

Communication with patients is streamlined, individualised, with timely and relevant information

The end-to-end digital patient journey includes:

  • Preoperative appointment times (including reminders)
  • Detailed, individualised patient education
  • Fasting/bowel preparation & instructions
  • Diabetic fact sheets
  • Preparations and procedure specific
    Hospital information (what to expect/bring/directions)
  • COVID-19 screening and RAT instructional video
  • Confirmation of date/time of surgery
  • Advanced discharge planning and,
  • Importantly, consumers can provide direct feedback about their surgical journey.

This final step of closing the communication loop and collecting consumer feedback is vital to create and develop services within hospital systems.

Examples of BHFLHN Patient Experience

Patient confirmation of attendance has improved

Patient Admissions Administrator Jye Cameron shares how the implementation of Personify Care pathways has impacted attendance rates. “Patient confirmation of attendance for surgery has improved. This is a good communication tool as we are able to provide reminders for appointments for pre-admission and surgery.” – says Cameron.

“The Personify Care pathways offer digital surveys and reporting to assist with gathering this information. More than 64% of registered patients have given written feedback about their admission experience.

Patient Admissions Administrator Jye Cameron

Efficiencies seen across all stages of the patients hospital journey.

“Being able to support our local community to access quality and timely care within their community is a priority. The hospital surgical team is supported by the pathway and allows for efficiencies to be seen across all stages of the patients hospital journey.

Our team is easily able to identify any patient concerns, surface cultural needs and detect clinical risks earlier. This all leads to us being able to spend less time making phone calls, and more time identifying and managing our waitlist”, says Irwin. 

By streamlining their approach to the admission journey procedures, patients and their families across BHFLHN surgical sites will be supported with e-pathways that enhance treatment options as close to their home as possible.

Digital pathways are customised to current workflows at each site to ensure rapid value and implementation. All BHFLHN locations have varied and adjusted pathways to suit their organisation’s requirements.

There are active plans to continue the roll out of patient pathways to additional surgical lists at other BHFLHN sites.

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November 25, 2022