Refero - Remote consultation to connect care providers, better support people at home
Refero connects clinical workforces to patients, other carers and citizens, quickly, simply and cost effectively. It has been proven to work across organisational boundaries and is now NHS approved and is designed to work with standard technology toolsets already used.
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Refero augments and overlays them with minimal change and can be customised to fit clinical use cases/service lines already in place. Using Refero clinical Multi Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) can work anywhere, any time, on any device – putting the patient at the centre of care pathways.
Health Innovation Manchester worked with Refero, and introduced the innovation to key stakeholders, sharing observations which led to iterative development and the testing of the platform, commercial model and service delivery for use cases.
Health Innovation Manchester also introduced appropriate suppliers within their remit, to explore and develop ecosystem partnerships. This collaborative approach allowed further development relating to new and novel approaches for connecting patient families to the clinical staff when in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In care homes, connecting the carer for the patient was developed. In a diabetic setting, a new and novel way of screen sharing information between clinician and patient (across disparate and locked-in systems of record) was developed.
The challenge addressed is better team working, to put patient at centre of connected care experience by improved communications between care provider teams and patient, with appropriately shared information and insight to improve patient outcomes.
Refero’s solution needed to take account of many factors where boundaries needed to be deconstructed providing patients with more engagement in their own care experience. Multi-disciplinary teams, often working separately, required bringing together and legacy systems and interoperability issues needed accounting for.
Rowan Pritchard Jones, Medical Director at St. Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Telehealth is becoming the norm … as a consequence of the huge successes of our pilots …. witnessed by our staff in other departments, who now want to benefit. Most importantly, it’s been the patient choice, whereby 100 percent of patients …, don’t want to revert to coming into hospital for an outpatient’s appointment”.
James Evans, CEO & Director of Education at Community Mentoring and Support (CMAS), said: “Our work with Refero (based on work done with HInM and others) will enable us to offer a common, collaborative platform of engagement between our team and other agencies looking after children and young people, enabling us to keep children and young people at the centre of everything we do”.
Dr Neil Paul, SMASH, said: “Most recently, we’ve seen a huge spike in enquiries relating to the COVID-19, the good news is that now we have boilerplate replies it allows us to hand-off messages to other members of the team, so medicine queries can go to the pharmacy team, and our Advanced Nurse Practitioners also have access to it.”
Impact & Outcomes
The key outcomes from the current use of the Refero system at St Helens and Knowsley NHS trust (STHK) and other sites are:
- Regional Secondary Care is now active across 60 STHK clinical service lines.
- It has reduced DNAs by 70% - 180 per user, saving c£27K per user/pa.
- It has been fully integrated into PAS.
- It has reduced unnecessary travel – by up to £4K per user/pa.
- It has provided improved clinical insight leading to better patient experience.
There has been 100% patient satisfaction, adoption/engagement (in appropriate settings).