Transforming Systems helped Medway CCG to give visibility of system-wide pressure to all partners across its health economy. This ensures unified management responses, as well as saving a huge amount of administration time. Lengthy teleconferences and manual collation of emailed data are a thing of the past for Medway CCG. 

The Challenge

NHS Medway CCG’s urgent care pathways comprise numerous service providers, each using different information systems. Before SHREWD, the partners across the Medway and Swale locality simply couldn’t see the live operational information from other providers. 

Commissioners were entirely reliant on the manual gathering and collation of data from multiple sources. This meant significant time was lost to the process of developing and understanding the pressures across the healthcare economy, which would have been better spent on partners resolving issues. 

The Solution 

When we first started working with the CCG, we agreed that all partners working across the Medway and Swale healthcare economy should be able to quickly and easily see and understand one another’s pressures. This would allow them to move to data-driven decisions and solutions, without losing time to unreliable and inconsistent manual data gathering. Enter SHREWD

With SHREWD, managers across the Medway CCG can now free up urgent care capacity quickly and restore patient flow, saving money and facilitating more positive patient outcomes. SHREWD achieves this by:

  • Collating all partners’ data in real time and presenting it in a simple visual 
  • Ensuring decisions are based on the most current available data
  • Facilitating decision-making quickly and as close to the patient as possible
  • Halving the time spent data gathering for decision-making and regulatory reporting
  • Moving the operational response to system pressures forward by up to 8 hours
  • Restoring patient flow, reducing the clinical and fiscal impact of avoidable inpatient delays 

SHREWD has allowed partners across Medway and Swale to harmonise their planning for surge and escalation events, while working to a common plan. This has resulted in the development of innovative strategies to mitigate pressure at key interfaces between organisations. 

It has also allowed the CCG to carry out internal mitigations associated with surge and escalation on the urgent care pathway transparently. This helps commissioners gain sufficient assurance for onward compliance reporting without the need to distract operational resources in provider organisations. 

This increased ability to spot emerging system-wide pressure has facilitated load levelling across the urgent care pathway. As a result, delays experienced by patients are reduced. 

In addition to the operational benefits for patient-facing operations, the availability of the information on SHREWD means that fewer teleconferences are required. Whether for data gathering for regulatory reporting requirements or to agree actions to mitigate escalating pressure, the CCG’s teleconferences are significantly shorter. As such calls typically involve senior and executive management from across the healthcare economy, the savings realised are significant. SHREWD has reduced the man hours spent on such calls from around 3 hours per day to just 1.

SHREWD has facilitated change and improvement across the Medway and Swale healthcare economy. It has become integral to Medway CCG’s planning and is central to its improvement initiatives for the response to surge and escalation events on the urgent care pathway.

The visibility of real-time operational data to all partners has helped share and develop good practice, and the data picture provided is comprehensive and easy to understand. This facilitates the use of the system by both subject matter experts within the urgent and emergency care partnership, and on-call staff who are often from different disciplines. The ease of understanding helps to ensure that patient flow is not held up owing to subject matter experts being unavailable.

The SHREWD platform provides a consistent interface for the data across all the participating organisations. This aids speed of decision making as the interpretation of the data is familiar to everyone involved.