Surgical pathways, especially electives, have the potential to be highly efficient due to the pre-planned nature of all activity with foreknowledge of what needs to be done, by whom and when. At the same time, due to the linear nature of activity, any bottleneck in the pathway will significantly affect the efficiency of the whole process. Applying digital management tools across the perioperative process can mitigate blockages and provide the tools to respond to challenges anywhere in the pathway. We will discuss some applications, which can be deployed in the following areas:
- Smart surgical scheduling supporting the best use of resources and flagging potential conflicts before they cause a blockage
- Digital pre-operative assessments to simplify documentation for anaesthetists and highlight potential surgical issues early
- Materials management to optimise the preparation of surgical kits and pick up stock issues before causing cancellations
- Digital intra-operative documentation combining medical device data, anaesthesia activity and surgical activity into a digital record to minimise documentation time and improve accuracy
- Dynamic theatre block management allowing amendments to surgical lists, whenever changes need to be made, to keep the process moving and minimise cancellations.
- Visibility of patients in recovery with medical device integration, wearable monitoring and alarm management to minimise post-operative deterioration
- Digital post-operative assessments and documentation to support discharge from surgical services
- Reporting of all surgical information to support improvements to best practice
We will explore how these technologies can be deployed in an integrated fashion to reduce silos of information and streamline care delivery.
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