Off the Beaten Pathway: Bringing Care Pathway Management to the NHS

By Jeff Ball, VP of Customer Success, Lumeon

We are thrilled to announce our first NHS partnership, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. We have worked with Chelsea and Westminster’s postnatal team to create a digital end-to-end care pathway for new mothers and their babies, funded by the hospital charity CW+.

Our user-friendly technology is transforming how this department runs. Streamlining processes, coordinating care towards a timely and safe discharge, and enhancing the postnatal experience for women and their families.

Postnatal Care Pathway Management in action

To get a sense of how our system changes things on the ward, let’s imagine Anna, a hypothetical maternity patient at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. After Anna gives birth, she will need to wait for a variety of specialist visits and administrative tasks to take place before she and her baby can safely go home.

Previously, coordinating postnatal care and discharge was paper-based and manual. A team of up to 13 ward and non-ward staff were involved. Communication was via a central whiteboard, consolidating patient notes, and participating in necessary hand-over processes. They would be unable to predict how many hours Anna would need to stay after being ‘fit to leave’.

Staff wanted to make a positive change to a digital system, and automate what could be automated, allowing them to enhance the patient experience for new mothers. Additionally, the hospital was aware of the costs involved in keeping patients in beds due to delayed discharge.

Using design thinking principals, we worked with a multitude of hospital staff involved in both the clinical and operational aspects of the postnatal ward, to create and deploy their best practice postnatal care pathways. Not just another IT system, it is their system that they helped design, that will support them to deliver coordinated and transparent care to their women and babies.

With the Lumeon Care Pathway Management platform in place, staff now use a digital system to coordinate all activities and tasks, referring to a dashboard that updates in real time as users enter information.

Staff have access to the digital dashboard either on a large screen at the nurses’ station, on a workstation in a clinic room, or on a tablet. They can see which patients they need to visit by when. The patient history and ability to refer is available at the click of a button. Communication flows more easily, particularly at handover, and repetitive administrative tasks can be automated, saving time. Additionally, digitising the information creates an audit trail for further service improvements.

Under this system, not only is Anna’s care more efficient, she is provided with robust information about the details and timing of her care and when she can go home. Patient flow through the maternity and postnatal wards is seamless. Beds are more readily available, translating to 1,000 bed days a year in real cost savings for the hospital.

Exciting new possibilities

The possibilities afforded by working with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and CW+ make this such an exciting partnership for Lumeon. These institutions have a great appetite for innovation and a drive to share this innovation across the NHS.

We are working with them on implementing additional product capabilities in the postnatal ward, extending coverage to the end-to-end maternity pathway, as well as pathways involving discharge readiness in other specialties.

We are learning a tremendous amount about what it what it takes to onboard and deploy successfully in an NHS Trust, which is informing how we will approach scaling across the NHS. The lessons we have learned can also support other entrepreneurial clinical leads who want to make change happen in their hospitals.

With our Chelsea and Westminster partnership, Lumeon is demonstrating the benefits of Care Pathway Management within a world-renowned healthcare system. This will translate to other opportunities to create positive change, particularly across the pond. As the U.S. moves from a fee-for-service to a pay-for-performance model, Lumeon will be able to offer our U.S. customers tried and tested solutions for improving outcomes while reducing cost.

At Lumeon we couldn’t be happier about implementing our revolutionary care pathway management system with such an engaged and enthusiastic partner. Their feedback about the project has been highly positive, and we are learning a phenomenal amount from working with innovative professionals who are focused on improving the quality and efficiency of care.

Don’t just take it from us. Here is Dr. Zoe Penn, Medical Director; Dr. Sunita Sharma, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist; and staff from the postnatal ward at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, talking about the impact the new digital postnatal care pathway is having.