Work at Raigmore Hospital Improves Patient Care

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Wednesday March 14 2018

A programme of work being carried out in Ward 7A at Raigmore Hospital has improved the quality and standard of patient care being provided as well as helping the ward to reduce their costs.

Value Management looks at maximising value while achieving the best health outcomes at the lowest cost based on a patient’s condition and it is something that staff within Ward 7A, a respiratory ward, have been working on since last year.

Amy Noble, senior charge nurse in the ward, explained that, with the support of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), they have been collecting data which looks at a number of key issues including length of patient stay, the number of patients and when patients get discharged.

Amy said:

“We’ve trialled a number of improvement projects running alongside each other to see what works for our ward.

“Each one has intertwined with the last and while some haven’t worked the ones that have are now part of our everyday work.

“Patient discharges from the ward now happen around noon rather than later in the day so not only are patients getting home at a reasonable time of day it has also allowed patient flow across the hospital to improve, creating capacity within the ward itself so patients that need to be in Ward 7A can be.

“The number of readmissions we have had to the ward has reduced which is better for our patients as they’re at home in their own environment.

“We’ve also increased the number of patients we see in a week by about eight.

“Our patients are in the right place and as a ward we are more productive.”

Amy explained that it’s not only an improvement to patient care that the ward has seen.

She said:

“Improving patient care and having a more efficient service has also allowed us to reduce spend within the unit.

“In terms of patient care we’ve reduced the cost per patient seen by about £200 taking it down to around £600.

“We’ve also looked at drug waste.

“By making one person responsible for ordering and chasing up we have managed to cut down on duplicate orders which, for such a small change, has made a big improvement.

“How we use bank staff within the unit has also changed in that we use them during the week rather than in the evening or at a weekend which has helped reduce costs.”

Amy added:

“Staff across all disciplines have embraced the work we are doing.

“They’re really enthusiastic about it, we actively measure staff experience weekly through our Joy at Work project so we know they’re enjoying their work and, most importantly, our patient satisfaction is very positive.”

Kay Cordiner, Value Management Project Lead for NHS Highland, is delighted at how well Ward 7A have taken to this work and the changes made in a relatively short space of time.

She said:

“This is a great piece of work that shows you can improve patient care and increase your productivity while at the same time reducing your costs.

“The ward carries out weekly report outs using real time data collected over the previous week that shows each strand they are working on and what that means for their patients and for them.

“They use lean methodology to analyse the data and plan out small tests of change to drive improvement”

Kay added:

“It’s a very exciting time for Value Management, it’s the first time any healthcare organisation has used this method and we have had great success in 7A.

“Since then IHI have had a further two visits to us and we have rolled out this work across four areas of cardiology as well as a bigger spread which involves the Highland Children’s Unit, Endoscopy, Theatres, Sleep Service, General Outpatients, the Royal Northern Infirmary, New Craigs and a Neighbourhood Team, which is made up of home carers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and district nurses.”



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