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Case study: St John & St Elizabeth Hospital

clinician using LifeBox Pre-assessment

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital, St John’s Wood, London 

Up until October 2019, the hospital had a paper system for its patient pre-operative assessment service. 

After training with the LifeBox team, the hospital phased in the digital health software, starting with orthopaedics. 

“We decided to phase it in as we wanted to get it right with a smaller amount of people before we rolled it out,” explains HJE’s outpatient services manager, Claire Manley.

“For the first three months, it was hard as we were working with two systems in the hospital.”

Before LifeBox, face-to-face assessments were taking an average two hours per patient. With approximately 500 patients a month, HJE initially hoped LifeBox would make the process more efficient. 

“The biggest challenge was getting everyone to have the confidence to use it,” says Claire. 

Training and communication were key to overcoming this hurdle. There were regular meetings with heads of department and tailor-made training given to separate teams, from administration to pre-assessment nurses and theatre staff. 

Ward nurses were encouraged to be involved in pre-assessment so they could understand the challenges the pre-assessment nurses faced. 

The advent of COVID quickened the acceptance and confidence in LifeBox as all assessments had to be done online as the hospital became the hub for orthopaedic, trauma and some renal surgery for NHS Imperial Trust.

In June, the hospital re-started elective surgery and now 90% of pre-assessments, both private and NHS, are done through LifeBox. Staff are now digital assistants offering help via the phone for patients with any difficulties filling in the questionnaire.

“One of the huge benefits is that it’s all there in black and white and questions can’t be skipped,” adds Claire. “Everything is really clear. You can see patients moving through the stages and once they have completed, the nurses are ready to triage them.”