Local hospital nominated for prestigious efficiency award

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) have been nominated for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) award for their implementation of innovative technology in the Emergency Department (ED).

Introduced back in 2018, the Smart ER system is now an integral part of the Trust’s ED and has been deployed to make better use of patient waiting times. In a nutshell, Smart-ER is accessed by a pair of kiosks set up in the ED waiting room. These can be used by any patient, or carer, to fill out a short digital form describing their injuries or ailments, as well as to answer a few general questions. Once the form has been completed, these details are then imported directly into the individual’s medical record, ready for use in their upcoming consultation.

There are many advantages for the patient associated with this. For a start, it makes them feel like they are actively contributing to their healthcare, whilst also improving productivity by asking them to recount their own story, when they would otherwise be doing nothing in the waiting room. In turn, this leads to a more accurate and reliable version of events, as all of the information is coming directly from the patient themselves. Meanwhile, from a consultation perspective, things move a lot smoother, because the detail has all been recorded in advance, meaning that patients do not have to recount the details numerous times to different healthcare professionals.

Since its implementation, Smart-ER has had an impressive impact in terms of reducing waiting times. Furthermore it has been incredibly popular with medical staff, who have all commended the system for the way that it improves their efficiency and the reliability of their notes.

Off the back of this great reception, the application has been shortlisted for a HSJ Value Award. Nominated in the category of Emergency, Urgent and Trauma Care Efficiency Initiative of the Year, Smart-ER will be competing against other schemes from the across the country to pick up the illustrious prize. The winner will be announced on May 23, following the awards ceremony itself which will take place in Manchester Central.

Dr Amjid Mohammed, lead for the Smart-ER Project at DBTH, said: “It is so encouraging to see the HSJ recognise the Trust for this pioneering work. Until we put this revolutionary system in place, the ED experience at Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI) was largely unchanged from where it was several decades ago. But by introducing Smart-ER, the hospital has made a significant and much-needed stride towards modernisation, taking the service forward, making superior use of technology and ultimately creating a better experience for our patients. It’s a truly forward-thinking initiative and one that will only become more useful as time goes on, as we continue to refine and add to it.”

Meanwhile, Richard Parker, Chief Executive Officer said: “Smart-ER has complemented the way that we deliver care across our busy emergency department at DRI. The new innovation has signalled a way for the future of the emergency service at the Trust. We believe the system has the potential to have an impact beyond its use at DBTH and could make a big difference for the wider NHS, enabling patient involvement in information gathering to shorten the overall booking process.”

Smart-ER has now entered into its second phase, where it will utilise cloud-based technology to offer tailored health information to the patient, such as relevant leaflets videos or promotions. The new function will also support enrolment on free first aid courses and connect patients to existing services to benefit their acute and chronic health needs.