Many patients who receive care at their home report that they are visited by so many different services that they often feel a lack of control over such aspects as their disease management, social and daily life.

The aim of the project was to improve the experience of housebound patients by increasing patient choice of time of District Nurse (DN) visit; improving patient safety by reducing the number of missed visits and medication errors due to allocation errors and using ‘lean’ principles to develop an efficient IT based patient allocation system in conjunction with frontline DNs.

Since the system went live :

  • 5800 episodes of care have been scheduled and delivered
  • There have been no missed visits
  • On average nurses saved 2.5 hours of admin time per weeK

Electronic Master Patient Index poster

Case study

‘Sharon’ has been a nurse for 25 years. She reports her experience of using the new system:

‘I became a nurse because I care. Several years ago I joined the community as I missed the face to face communication with patients. Initially I found the pace and unexpected nature of DN work to be very exciting, but our team had undergone skill mix and reduction in staffing levels. My morale was pretty low, and I felt I was personally letting the patients and the team down when we couldn’t complete our work or missed visits occurred. I met Amanda at a team meeting.

She was offering to help using an IT solution. At first I didn’t get it and when I started the training I felt like a student nurse again. Gradually I got used to the new system and even made a few suggestions on how to make it easier to use. One of the best bits of the new system is that we can record when a patients want to be visited. I now feel less like that student nurse and more like my old self. I actually feel as if a dark cloud has been lifted. I no longer fear IT (as much) and have freed up about 2 or 3 hours of my time by not having to put details onto our previous database.

Our team hasn’t missed any visits, our patients are happier as they don’t get forgotten and they see us at a time that suits their needs not ours. All in all this gives me more time to do the thing I love to do and am paid to do: to care.’

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  • Location
  • Project date
    Duration - one year
  • Key aim
    To improve patient experience through a new visit planning system for District Nurses

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