The multidisciplinary team in the Radiotherapy department at St James’ Institute of Oncology in Leeds has pioneered an innovative project to ensure instantaneous receipt of patient referral forms from across the Yorkshire Cancer Network for radiotherapy treatment.
The team has worked collaboratively to project manage and sucessfully implement a fully integrated electronic referral system that has customised existing software and interfaces with other hospital systems. This cost-neutral project has completely replaced paper-based referrals with a more robust, safe and efficient electronic system. The new system is more cost effective and will enable futher developments to increase efficiency and workflow modelling.
The project was designed and promoted using an iterative model of software development to analyse requirements, design functionality, implement solutions, evaluate and then repeat the cylce. Throughout, the team worked tirelessly with different hospitals and disciplines to deliver this innovative project to a successful conclusion.
The work was shared with the wider radiotherapy community and the impact of this project is becoming widely recognised, with a number of centres requesting to come and see how the project was developed and implemented.
The huge success of the project is a direct result of the innovation, creativity and determination of the multidisciplinary radiotherapy team at Leeds.
These objectives were achieved by:
Multi disciplinary team initially mapping the Radiotherapy booking process identifying time lines and handovers in the process.
Engaging the key people with the appropriate skills and influence for example IT skills, data expertise, medical leads.
Developing a project plan and scoping the work.
With extensve consultation with the site specialist consultants, developed a ‘Booking form/ referral template’ within the Patient Information system (MOSAIQ)
Customising the existing software and redesigning the functionality of the system to support electronic referrals and remove all paper.
Consultation undertaken with the software manufacturers to ensure no compromise of the product.
Identifying and problem shooting the IT interface issues with other hospital Trusts across the network to ensure secure and consistent transfer of patient data.
Presenting project objectives and timecsales to peers and consultant colleagues and underpin with scheduled training sessions to support the transition from paper to electronic booking. Undertaking scheduled training of booking office clerks and secretaries on new system.
Phased rollout and introduction of electronic booking across all site specialties and consultants was documented and widely distributed.
Project reviewed at completion along with lessons learned.
Manual completion of the radiotherapy booking form (referral) and the numerous handovers required to deliver it to the radiotherapy booking office resulted in a slow, inefficient booking process that reduced the quality of our servcie in terms of speed of access and delivery of cancer treatment. The multidisciplianrty team set out simply to achieve the following:
Introduce an electronic radiotherapy referral system that would increase speed of referral, reduce risk and more effectively and efficiently use the functionality of the radiotherapy Patient Information system (MOSAIQ) as a complete patient management system. As such it would be the first true electronic integrated referral system of its kind in the UK for a radiotherapy centre.
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