Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust Delivers Digital and Paperless Consent in Six Months – with eConsent
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, like so many up and down the country, are on a journey to digitally transform their workflow in line with the HIMSS electronic medical record adoption model. This is to not only increase the efficiency of their existing systems, but to ensure that patient care is being continuously improved upon at every point of contact.
The demand for digital transformation has been further accelerated by the global pandemic as healthcare providers try to reduce the risk of infection by limiting face-to-face contact without damaging the accessibility of patient support.
Digital acceleration at Royal Berkshire
Whilst the Trust’s paper consent process served its purpose in the past, Royal Berkshire set out to address the growing need to facilitate further digital transformation in response to the changing climate of patient care. Determined to become more digitally mature, they sought the help of leading connected healthcare specialist Wellbeing Software to implement eConsent, a clinician-led, digital solution that enhances patient consent consultations.
In addition to this being a part of a wider national scheme, Royal Berkshire wanted to use eConsent to improve the patient experience, optimise consultant time as well as gain access to standardised and up to date information to enrich their current consent to treatment process.
By introducing eConsent, the Trust has been able to take advantage of key features, including reporting and statistical analysis, which would not be available via a paper process. For example:
- Consent form usage across a specific date range showing them the number of procedures by department, which can then be further filtered down to show both procedure type and numbers by consenting clinicians.
- Remote form access which shows which forms have been accessed, downloaded and/or signed by a remote link across a specific date range.
- Access to ‘raw’ consent data that is provided weekly for the Trust, for analysis, by their own Business Intelligence team.
All these enhanced features enable Royal Berkshire hospital to adopt a more informed system that simultaneously allows for a dynamic and secure approach to the consent to treatment process.
Moving forward with eConsent
Chris Yeowart, General Manager at Wellbeing Software said: “Royal Berkshire were able to quickly digitise their consent process because they did not need to change their existing workflows. This allowed them to significantly accelerate their digital transformation despite the obstacles of this challenging year.”
With paper process previously and ‘like for like’ digital workflow the forms are not shared with patients in advance to allow them more time to review all the information. With eConsent Trust can now look at transforming the consent process and share the form with patient digitally to view remotely allowing them more time to review all the relevant information. Some of the early adopters have already started practising this process, around 10% of the forms are now being created in advance and discussed/shared with patient earlier in the cycle. Trust aims to improve upon this statistic with increase in eConsent adoption.
Royal Berkshire has consequently fast-tracked their use of eConsent and are proud leaders in this space, evident in their reporting and analysing of structured data. Subsequently, hundreds of new procedures have been created with the assistance of eConsent to ensure consistency with the hospitals existing EPR, which further demonstrates how flexible and customisable the software can be when used with other large systems.
As a result of the success to date, Royal Berkshire will be moving forward with phase two of this eConsent project and will continue to lead in digital transformation.