Virtual Wards: Streamline Off-site Bed Management with Clinical Summaries

 In GeneCis Clinical Portal, Healthcare Technology

With the growing prevalence of virtual ward pathways in healthcare, the accurate management of patient information becomes even more essential to ensure seamless care coordination across various healthcare settings.

This is particularly critical when patients transition to locations outside of an acute hospital such as home, community and step-down settings. Virtual wards often serve as transitional spaces for patients who are no longer in need of acute care but still require medical attention before they can be discharged. At this pivotal juncture in care, the flow of patient information must reach multiple care providers, such as the GP, referring Consultant, and Allied Health Professionals. Managing patients in a virtual ward poses unique challenges, requiring a delicate balance between providing appropriate care and ensuring timely transmission of information across healthcare settings. A comprehensive solution for virtual ward management, such as Clinical Summaries, proves invaluable as it enables efficient patient information management and supports care providers with delivering enhanced patient care.

healthcare providers discuss Clinical Summaries for virtual wards

Managing Off-Site Beds and Virtual Wards Efficiently with Clinical Summaries

Efficiently managing hospital beds outside of acute care settings across multiple locations is crucial to providing high-quality healthcare services, enhancing patient care, optimising resource utilisation, and improving overall healthcare system efficiency. Let’s dive deeper into the key reasons that efficient management of off-site beds is of utmost importance, and how Clinical Summaries helps:

1.     Key Information for Next Steps in Patient Care

Seamless transitions along virtual ward care pathways and efficient bed management necessitate a clear understanding of the next steps in a patient’s journey. All healthcare providers involved must have access to comprehensive and relevant information about the patient. Clinical Summaries provides healthcare providers with real-time access to key patient information, such as diagnosis, the hospital discharge summary, treatment information and follow-up care requirements. This ensures continuity of care and facilitates smoother transitions between acute care and virtual wards. With access to this crucial information, healthcare teams can proactively plan and coordinate appropriate care for each patient, improving their patients’ overall experience and outcomes.

2.     Efficient Patient Discharge from the Hospital

A streamlined patient discharge process is an integral part of the smooth flow of patients through the healthcare system. Efficient bed management in off-site locations, such as step-down units, transitional care facilities, and other virtual wards, is vital to expediting the discharge of patients who no longer require acute care but still need medical attention before being discharged. Leveraging tools like Clinical Summaries gives healthcare providers access to real-time information about patients’ conditions, treatment information, and care requirements. This enables them to quickly and easily make informed decisions regarding patient discharges, ultimately freeing up acute care beds for those in need and reducing unnecessary hospital stays.

3.     Visibility into Bed Availability across Community Care Settings

Effective management of off-site beds requires accurate and up-to-date information about bed availability and occupancy in various community care settings. By utilising a virtual ward management solution like Clinical Summaries, healthcare providers gain visibility into the number of available beds and their occupancy across multiple locations. This helps in optimising bed utilisation, ensuring that patients are placed in appropriate settings based on their needs and reducing delays in transferring patients to the most suitable care environment. With demand for inpatient hospital beds only set to increase, visibility into beds available in virtual wards will help alleviate overcrowding and ensure all patients can access the care they need.

Doctor provides healthcare as part of virtual ward pathways

Key Features of Clinical Summaries for Virtual Wards

Given the importance of off-site bed management for the smooth and efficient functioning of virtual wards, Clinical Summaries is an invaluable tool. The key features of Clinical Summaries contribute to accurate documentation, effective care coordination, and informed decision-making in patient management. By leveraging these features, healthcare organisations can enhance patient safety, optimise care delivery, and improve overall healthcare outcomes. Let’s take a closer look at some of Clinical Summaries’ key features:

  • Point-of-Care Recording for Accurate and Timely Documentation: Clinical Summaries enables healthcare providers to record interventions and patient details directly at the bedside, ensuring accurate and timely documentation, reducing errors, and improving efficiency.
  • Recording and Management of Active Medical Problems at Discharge: The platform features a dedicated module for documenting active medical problems during discharge, providing a comprehensive understanding of ongoing health issues for continuity of care.
  • Indicating the Need for Follow-Up Care: Healthcare providers can use Clinical Summaries to indicate the need for post-discharge care, facilitating proactive planning for outpatient visits, rehabilitation, or specialist consultations.
  • Provision of Key Information on Admission Diagnosis, Care Delivery, Discharge Outcome, and Follow-Up: Clinical Summaries offers a centralised overview of key patient journey details, including diagnosis, treatments, discharge summary, and follow-up plans, enhancing care coordination and continuity.
  • Comprehensive Medication Details, Including Discharge Medication and Reconciliation: The platform integrates with eDischarge to provide detailed medication information, covering prescriptions at discharge, ceased medications, and reconciliation data. This ensures accurate and up-to-date records, minimising the risk of medication errors.
  • Access to Patient History for Informed Decision-Making: Clinical Summaries is a highly integrable solution which allows healthcare providers to access the complete patient history, including discharge summaries, diagnoses, laboratory results and radiology results, supporting informed decision-making and comprehensive care delivery.

Implementing Clinical Summaries for Virtual Wards

Now that we’ve described some of the benefits and features of Clinical Summaries, let’s step into the realm of practical application. Clinical Summaries seamlessly integrates into virtual ward pathways, optimising patient management and enhancing overall care coordination. Here we will outline the implementation of Clinical Summaries for virtual ward pathways.

 

1.     Overview of the Process for Managing Virtual Ward Beds:

Implementing Clinical Summaries for off-site bed management involves a systematic approach to ensure smooth operations and effective utilisation of the solution. The process typically includes:

  • Needs Assessment: Conducting a thorough assessment of the organisation’s off-site bed management requirements, identifying specific pain points, and determining the desired outcomes.
  • Solution Design and Configuration: Collaborating with IT teams and Clinical Summaries experts to design and configure the solution according to the hospital’s needs. This includes integrating Clinical Summaries with existing hospital information systems and setting up relevant workflows.
  • Data Migration and Integration: Ensuring seamless transfer of patient data from the hospital’s primary systems to Clinical Summaries. This typically involves data mapping, cleansing, and integrating Clinical Summaries with existing hospital systems.
  • Testing and Quality Assurance: Conducting rigorous testing of the implemented solution to ensure data accuracy, system stability, and optimal performance. This phase usually involves simulated scenarios and user acceptance testing.
  • Deployment and Rollout: Launching Clinical Summaries for off-site bed management across the hospital and healthcare organisations. This includes training for end-users, establishing communication channels, and providing ongoing support.

Virtual ward management with Clinical Summaries

Clinical Summaries in an Acute Hospital Environment

 

In addition to its application for virtual wards and off-site bed management, Clinical Summaries also plays a vital role in expediting care handovers and enhancing patient management within an acute hospital environment. Let’s explore the key aspects of Clinical Summaries in an acute hospital setting:

1.     Expediting the Handover of Care and Reducing Interpretation Errors:

Care handovers between healthcare practitioners are critical moments where accurate and timely information exchange is essential. Clinical Summaries streamlines this process by providing a comprehensive overview of each patient’s care journey. It ensures that all relevant medical details, treatment plans, and care requirements are accurately transferred from one care provider to another. By expediting the handover process, Clinical Summaries minimises the risk of miscommunication and interpretation errors, leading to safer and more effective patient care.

2.     Integration with GeneCIS for Comprehensive Patient Management:

Clinical Summaries is a module of the GeneCIS Clinical Portal, a healthcare informatics solution designed to optimize patient care processes, streamline workflows, and improve communication among healthcare providers. Integrating with other GeneCIS modules, it streamlines patient care by offering the latest updates on details such as the patient’s location, diagnosis and treatments.  Clinical Summaries reduces the Average Length of Stay, supports virtual rounds, and supports the provision of enhanced patient care.

3.     Real-Time Patient Location Tracking and Team-Specific Patient Lists:

Clinical Summaries offers patient location tracking, enabling healthcare teams to quickly locate and access information about patients within the acute hospital environment. Additionally, team-specific patient lists are readily accessible to authorised healthcare professionals. These patient lists are automatically updated from the hospital’s Patient Administration System (PAS), allowing each team of doctors to view their specific patients, identify their location and corresponding care details.

In an acute hospital setting, Clinical Summaries serves as a powerful tool for expediting care handovers, reducing interpretation errors, and facilitating comprehensive patient management. Its integration with the award-winning GeneCIS Clinical Portal ensures a holistic view of patient information, while patient location tracking and team-specific patient lists optimise care delivery and resource allocation. By leveraging the capabilities of Clinical Summaries, healthcare organisations can enhance patient outcomes, improve care coordination, and maximise the efficiency of healthcare delivery within the acute hospital environment.

The Transformative Impact of Clinical Summaries in Virtual Wards and Acute Hospital Environments

Clinical Summaries revolutionises patient management in virtual wards and off-site bed scenarios. Its integration capabilities ensure seamless transitions, providing real-time access to crucial patient information for optimal care coordination. The implementation process involves a systematic approach, emphasising security, user training, and ongoing support.

Beyond virtual wards, Clinical Summaries expedites care handovers in acute hospital environments, minimising interpretation errors and enhancing patient management. Integrated with GeneCIS Clinical Portal, it optimises care processes, reduces the average length of hospital stay, and supports the provision of coordinated patient care.

As the healthcare landscape evolves, and virtual ward pathways become the norm, Clinical Summaries facilitates informed decision-making, efficient care coordination, and improved patient outcomes. Leveraging its key features enhances safety and contributes to the overall efficiency of healthcare delivery.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or would like to learn more about Clinical Summaries.

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