“Trauma and Orthopaedics” is the most common reason for people going to hospital, ahead of Ophthalmology and Physiotherapy, with more than seven million cases in the last financial year alone. For some, it can be a painful experience – in more ways than one. Hobble to the hospital with a broken foot or arm and chances are you will sit in A&E for hours before seeing a doctor, who will pass you on to someone who isn’t a specialist in your particular injury.You could remember how technology relates with our Modern kitchen here
Lucy Cassidy, an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist, said fracture patients faced a “lottery” in terms of who would treat them. “Depending on what week you hurt your foot, would be who you saw. If you fractured your foot on a Friday, you might see a junior doctor who had been pulled down by the ward because they have got too many patients to see. It could be a lottery in terms of whom you saw for your injury.” Cassidy made it her mission to implement a new system at Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, one that would put patients first and tailor treatments to their specific needs. The result was the Virtual Fracture Clinic, which helps people who have broken a bone or who have a nasty soft tissue injury to get treatment in their own home via online videos. Then, if needed, they can see a doctor who specialises in that part of the body.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust launched the clinic in 2013. In the past five years, Cassidy and her team have managed more than 15,000 patients, cut outpatient appointments by 57% and saved the NHS over £750,000. Twelve months ago she added Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s suite of business apps, to transform how patients were referred to the clinic by A&E staff and take the pressure off the Excel spreadsheet she used as a database. “Relying on our intranet and an Excel spreadsheet was a lot of work. I wanted a solution that could manage the end-to-end process of receiving referrals from A&E, managing the caseload and providing patients with their rehabilitation information,” she said. Cassidy spent more than six years at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust before joining a private company at the end of last year to continue developing healthcare solutions using Dynamics 365. Her “ideal end goal” is for every hospital in the UK to have a Virtual Fracture Clinic supported by technology. Making that happen while working in the NHS requires money and resources – two things the service hasn’t traditionally enjoyed a lot of. “There are 250 trusts in the UK and maybe 30-40 of them have a form of a virtual fracture clinic but none of them has a technology solution to support that,” Cassidy said. “A lot of them have taken existing solutions within the hospital and bolted things on to them to do what they can.
That’s where Dynamics 365 can help. The Microsoft service breaks down the walls between departments, giving employees a single, unified view of their entire organisation. Powered by data and intelligence, it can also help companies optimise their operations and assist customers, and is being used by the Renault Formula One Team, restaurant chain TGI Fridays and AccuWeather, among others.