Can a virtual stone clinic improve patient care at a reduced cost?
BAUS ePoster online library. Petrides N.
Jun 26, 2018; 211360
Mr. Neophytos Petrides
Mr. Neophytos Petrides
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Abstract
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Introduction: Constantly increasing patient numbers create severe pressure on outpatient clinics. New patient care pathways are needed that can reduce those pressures and improve patient overall care. We set up a weekly virtual stone clinic whose aim was to ensure that all stone patients were reviewed by the stone team and triaged to the appropriate stream. All stone referrals were captured by the Stone Coordinator and reviewed in the VSC by the Stone Consultant(s), SpR, Stone Nurse and Research Nurse.

Aim and Methods: We aimed to assess the effectiveness of our virtual stone clinic in saving outpatient appointments, diverting consultant clinic appointments to nurse led consultations (in person or via telephone) and expediting patient care pathways to meet treatment target pressures. Data were collected prospectively for 5 months from 12/12/16 to 17/5/17.

Results: The VSC reviewed 300 clinic appointment requests. Of those 65 appointments were avoided completely, 45 were changed to telephone appointments and 127 to specialist nurse appointments. In addition 178 patients were referred for opinion. In 24 the management decision was altered avoiding last minute cancellations after re-discussion with the patients. Clinic appointments were expedited in 17 cases for clinical reasons and 6 patients were admitted for urgent intervention.

Conclusion: We found that utilizing a 90 minute VSC every week has significantly reduced outpatient clinic pressures, expedited patient care in appropriate cases and prevented last minute changes to procedures or cancellations. Overall it improved patient management while saving significant resources in terms of time and money.
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