We pulled together a couple of smaller projects, and we demonstrated it to NHS England and Improvement and they loved it. They thought it was absolutely fantastic. They couldn’t believe we were doing all this automation.”Paul Wyman Robotic Process Automation Architect
NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has a long and well-documented history of thinking outside the box when it comes to provisioning care for Dorset’s 800,000-strong population. Known for its enduring and ambitious innovation programs, NHS Dorset CCG is setting the benchmark for integrated care systems working across the country with its collaboration-first approach to transformation.
Paul Wyman, robotic process automation (RPA) architect for NHS Dorset CCG discovered that manual printing and scanning were the reason clinicians were receiving blurry medical images in their e-referrals, Wyman and the outpatient transformation team embarked on an automation journey to find a solution. It was a journey that would subsequently go on to make a critical difference in the face of a deadly global pandemic.
As our knowledge about COVID-19 advanced, monitoring the blood oxygen levels of patients suffering from, or at high risk of contracting the virus quickly became a key intervention tactic for avoiding critical decline and organ failure in seemingly healthy patients.
One simple way of doing this is with an oximeter test. But not all people required it, and the person best qualified to make that decision was a patient’s GP. Sadly, getting the news of a patient’s positive test result to the individual GP was not simple. The results—which numbered over 1,000 at the peak—arrived daily via email, then had to be sorted manually, and finally had to be forwarded to specific GP surgeries across the county of Dorset. The four or five days it could take to complete the process.
In just three days, Wyman and his team put a Blue Prism digital worker on the task. Now when the reports arrive, processing takes just two minutes and all GPs whose patients return a positive test are emailed automatically. To date, intelligent automation has returned 350 work hours back to NHS Dorset CCG and delays in disseminating this critical information have been eliminated.
Having clearly established the effectiveness of intelligent automation, Wyman and his team have their sights set on launching even more transformative benefits for the NHS. Short-term goals include deploying more digital workers to facilitate additional aspects of the care plan process. Soon, after a nurse on a ward indicates that a patient is set to leave on a certain date, a digital worker can trigger the CHC care plan process to automatically gather all relevant medical records and documentation.
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