Clinical Nurse Specialist Pearl Avery reports on how being part of the IBD Registry is helping the Dorset IBD team provide a better service to patients.
Responding to patients
The patient management system is giving us the ability to respond to patient queries effectively, since you have access to all the information right there and then. When I get a call on the helpline it’s quick and easy to see the patient’s history as well as colleagues’ comments. This helps us see the whole picture and provide better continuity of care for the patient. You need to remember that often, people have been symptomatic for a while before they contact you for help. Having all the information at your fingertips when they do call boosts patients’ confidence in the IBD service.
In the past when patients phoned we’d sometimes have to arrange to phone back if it was a complex case, to give us time to go through the paper notes.
It also impacts on patient safety as it helps us make the right medication choices, and reduces the chance of our making silly mistakes.
Working more efficiently
The IBD Registry patient management system is easy to use in clinic, and can be adapted to local needs, which is a bonus.
Previously we recorded information in the notes, then had to enter data onto the hospital PAS, as well as write a GP letter, which was time consuming for us, and inefficient for the Trust.
Being able to generate GP letters and patient summaries is a big benefit. We copy and paste these into our local document system, and it’s made our letters much much quicker, so the patient and GP aren’t having to wait weeks to hear back from us.
Being able to update patient records from different locations allows us to be more efficient. The robust infrastructure also helps with continuity when colleagues are away, but also gives us a great way to demonstrate our work; for example we can easily report on the number of helpline calls received, the time it took to respond, and the number of clinic appointments or A&E visits saved.
Planning and resourcing the service
Once we’ve registered all our patients we’ll have a clear picture of our population, which will allow us to resource effectively; for example, by making sure we’ve got sufficient nurse specialists to meet the IBD Standards. Up to now we’ve made an estimate based on our catchment population and the average incidence of IBD in the population to corroborate the data laboriously recorded in a spreadsheet. Being part of the Registry will not only allow us to define our population more accurately but also compare our incidence and outcomes with services in other parts of the UK.
I can see benefits for the local health economy too: care is less expensive when patients are well managed, and you can only do that with a well-run service.
The Dorset team are using the InfoFlex IBD Registry PMS.