The admission of patients to the Older People's Short Stay Ward (OPSSU) was proving to be highly challenging at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. An LiA team was formed with the aim of making changes so that staff could deliver the best and most efficient patient journey and experience - and the impact has been huge.
The team comprised of clinicians, nursing staff and managers, supported by their IT colleagues. Working together they have established a clear process for flagging of patients in the Acute Care Division who need to be transferred to the OPSSU
Using LiA methodology, the team identified and implemented a number of actions:
- An agreed criteria for admission to OPSSU
- Changes to medical staffing models to provide more continuity
- Educating staff and raising awareness of the process
- Better working across disciplines and services
- Older Peoples co-coordinator to review older patients in AAU/AMU to improve the appropriateness of admissions
- The development of an IT solution to help with the process.
The results speaks for themselves. There has been a huge reduction in length of stay as a result of these changes, from an average of 12 days to less than 5 days. Not only has this greatly enhanced the patient experience, it also reduced costs at the Trust and has improved the flow of patients through the hospital.
Other benefits of this work include:
- A positive impact on the Emergency Department
- Support for acute care through better flow of patients through the hospital
- Appropriate staff involved in patient care
- An effective multidisciplinary approach to patient care.
The excellent work of the team and the success of the solutions they have implemented will see the processes rolled out to other areas of the hospital.