A team of pre-operative care specialists has won an innovation award after introducing a digital system to streamline the onboarding of patients for surgery.

The ‘pan Lanarkshire pre-operative assessment team’ at NHS Lanarkshire won the innovation and improvement award at a local staff awards ceremony in Hamilton.

They deployed the ‘Elsie’ tool last year to replace a paper-based system that required every patient to physically attend a hospital and answer questions with a nurse.

Now, patients can opt to use the app, supplied by Buddy Healthcare, to improve the pathway towards surgical care.

The system allows patients to answer questions on their mobile device and delivers information about the hospital, anaesthesia, recovery, medicine and fasting alerts.

It also has a messaging system for patients to contact the nursing team, should they have any questions.

The system improves the efficiency of the surgical pathway at a time when waiting lists are growing due to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition it supports the hospitals’ processing of the backlog of elective surgeries postponed as a result of Covid-19.

Lynn Hogg, senior charge nurse for the pan Lanarkshire pre-assessment service, said: “Everybody in the team has been involved in this from band twos, band fives, band sixes, myself and our consultant leads on all of the three sites. They’ve been involved in some way with regards to developing things. They’ve had an input on structure and flow. So I think it’s a very proud moment for us all. 

“They’re all really excited. I don’t think anyone in the team has ever been nominated for an award before. So it’s a fantastic achievement across the board and for three separate teams to come together to develop this. 

“My team, as in one team across the three sites, are fantastic. They are keen to develop and provide a quality service.

“Everybody in the team has a say in how our team evolves, they have a say in what happens. They own new improvements that we’re trying to implement. Our achievements are owned by our whole team, from the ground up, across the three sites.”

She added: “I am very proud and surprised to win this award. Our whole team, across the three acute sites just look at what we do as part of our day to day job. 

“We always develop and we always improve to provide a better patient experience. So to find out we won was a huge surprise. 

“When we saw the nomination, we were very proud of what somebody has seen in us. To nominate us is an absolutely fantastic honour.”