Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Leeds-Teaching-Hospitals-Multi-site-digital-transformation-delivers-a-fully-optimised-supply-chain-and-enhanced-patient-care-

Multi-site digital transformation delivers a fully optimised supply chain and enhanced patient care

About Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is part of the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) - a partnership between six hospital trusts across West Yorkshire and Harrogate that deliver acute services, combining their collective experience, expertise and resources to deliver the very highest standard of patient care across the entire region.

Challenges

With a high daily throughput of patients, staff and products, efficiency, scalability, and operational resilience are of vital importance for the hospital trusts that make up the WYAAT. In 2018, Leeds Teaching Hospitals prepared a business case for collaborative supply chain management, driven by a full transformation of the legacy IT infrastructure.

Building on the success of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Scan4Safety programme, this change would allow for automated data capture at every point of the patient journey, storing patient records and details of any supplies ordered and utilised in the Cloud, allowing for staff to track their efficacy and ensure only the best equipment is utilised, for the best available price. In this way, paper-based processes would give way to a cutting-edge IT infrastructure that would support real-time communication and collaboration across all sites and streamline the process of ordering medical supplies, with all electronic health records updated in real-time, and expediting the recall and reorder processes. This would not only enhance patient outcomes across the entire network and reduce the time spent on administrative tasks, but also provide WYAAT with full control and visibility of its supply chain, for improved quality and cost control.

Such processes are typically quite time-consuming with traditional paper-based record keeping, but the scalability and flexibility of the Cloud would ensure this critical data could be kept secure, in line with all applicable healthcare regulations, while still providing actionable insights across all six sites – insights that could then be used to drive higher standards of care across the entire UK.

However, to achieve this, high-performance connectivity between all six WYAAT sites and their supply chain provider was vital, which meant the search began for a technology partner who could support a full-scale digital transformation, with Leeds Teaching Hospitals leading the initiative.

Solution 

Leeds Teaching Hospitals engaged with Exponential-e to provide support for the entire WYAAT, due to a number of factors, including compliance with GDPR and HSCN requirements, and the ability to ensure a swift deployment, with zero disruption to patient care and administrative operations, thanks to previous experience executing similar deployments across the UK healthcare sector.

At the outset of the project, a dedicated account team at Exponential-e connected with internal IT teams at all six WYAAT trusts, and their US-based supply chain provider, establishing a project plan that would involve all parties concerned in order to ensure an efficient, stress-free deployment. Given the complexity of the desired solution, three-way communication has proven essential to the success of this project and led to a strong rapport developing between teams across each region, with regular communication helping drive the desired outcomes.

All six WYAAT sites were connected to a single server farm, consisting of four servers with full replication, to ensure operational resilience. Throughout this deployment process, Exponential-e conducted intensive testing, to ensure the resulting infrastructure will provide fully consistent, reliable performance across all sites, reviewing the findings with the WYAAT's own teams to identify opportunities for further growth and improvement.

Solution benefits

  • Secure, reliable interconnection of all six West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts, enhancing remote communication and collaboration.
  • High volumes of complex, sensitive data used to drive ongoing cost savings and operational improvements, without compromising security or compliance.
  • Full control and visibility of the entire supply chain, with all data updated in real-time.
  • Reduced time spent on administrative tasks, allowing hospital staff to prioritise patient care at all times. 
  • Flexible Cloud hosting delivers consistent performance, effortless scalability, and complete cost control.
  • Meets the guidance from DHSC and NHS Digital on the move towards Cloud-hosted solutions, utilising Exponential‐e's expertise to enable the rapid deployment of server capability.

We have quite an unusual setup when it comes to our IT infrastructure, but the Exponential-e team have been superb throughout, ensuring everyone stays in the loop and that our goals are consistently achieved. We're looking forward to continuing working with them.

Stuart MacMillian
Programme Director
West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts. 

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