NHS Lanarkshire realised during the pandemic that it needed to support remote patients and staff, which meant a digital solution for pre-operative assessment and then peri-operative support. 

The health board created a business case, where the savings in staff time would more than pay for a digital solution. The additional benefit of ‘Better Outcomes’ for patients, meant that it wasn’t too difficult to persuade the managing board that they should proceed.

They looked at the marketplace and went to a framework tender, before choosing Buddy Healthcare, an award-winning care coordination and patient engagement platform. The health board wanted an ‘own-branded’ solution, which we duly provided with the “Elsie” app and dashboard.

The implementation started with telephone and video calls with patients, with all received data input directly to the Buddy dashboard, so that digitally sourced data was available.

This has now been added to with a patient app to alleviate pressure on staff and also to allow patients to take part in their own journey through care, by entering information about their health and details, meaning staff only had to supplement this gathered data. This allowed times spent per patient, on average, to reduce from 75 minutes to 15 minutes, freeing time for the more complex patients who needed more clinical attention.

Project Isla: Elsie ePreOp was developed

Nurse-led consultations changed to telephone or NHS NearMe video consultations because of the pandemic. All of these interactions are now entered digitally to the Buddy system, rather than paper. This has now been replaced with a patient app where they able to enter their full details, receive information, message the care team, receive PREMs and PROMs and much more.