With 12,500 staff across 7 individual sites, Leeds Teaching Hospitals is home to a number of specialist facilities including the St James Institute of Oncology – a world-class cancer treatment centre. Not only is the Trust one of the biggest in the country, it is also renowned as one of the biggest teaching hospitals in Europe and receives over 1.3 million patients a year.

The Challenge

For a Trust of this scale, maximum productivity is absolutely critical. In response to the recommendations of the Francis Report and in-line with Jeremy Hunt’s 2018 paper lite/ less initiative, Leeds Teaching Hospitals (LTH) was quick to acknowledge that there was an imminent need to improve the way patient information was collated and handled. Introducing new and more intelligent systems for capturing and maintaining electronic patient records would enable the Trust to significantly lower inaccuracies, increase patient safety, speed up the provision of reusable system utilities to clinical staff, and dramatically improve the patient experience.

Seeing more patients in less time, reducing clinical overheads, minimising process delay and expenditure are key objectives for LTH. For staff at the Trust, this meant gaining the ability to digitally capture patient information at the point of care, mainly at the bedside. Removing post-meeting transcriptions, whilst sharing information to other departments and groups in real time.

With so much to gain from this approach, the need for reliable and consistent connectivity was identified as a pivotal stage in ensuring its success. Creating a connected and mobile environment would require a robust and dependable network and wired and wireless infrastructure to deliver these realisable benefits.

With a vision to drive shared patient-centric information as part of the wider clinical pathway, having effective electronic patient records would mean that the care provided by LTH could also be available throughout the wider primary, secondary and tertiary community. LTH also knew that the need for better IT communications would continue to grow, further substantiating the need for a more dynamic infrastructure capable of meeting these growing demands. There was also evidence that income had been lost from primary care as a result of poor responsiveness. It was clear that combining capabilities such as e-Discharge, diagnostics testing and other linkages of patient information across the whole Trust (enabled by an improved wireless infrastructure) would dramatically improve the overall efficiency, productivity and quality of patient information and care.

The Solution

LTH chose to partner with Block based upon a sound foundation of proven sector experience, value and trust. “It’s so important that the partners we choose fully understand the IT healthcare demands we experience day to day”, explains Eileen Jessop, Deputy Director of Informatics (IT) at LTH, “Block is that rare commodity that does, and it makes all the difference.”

The solution included the delivery of a trust-wide wireless infrastructure supporting all 7 LTH sites. The infrastructure provides easy to use, secure and reliable access to the wireless network through simple automated access control and security compliance. Reciprocal access was implemented allowing the hospital’s medical students utilising the Eduroam network to securely roam between the University and individual trust sites.

Based upon Cisco Unified Access, this BYOD and IoT business foundation architecture will enable people, processes, data, intelligent devices, security and efficiency to interlock as a single integrated and simplified intelligent network entity. The solution provides context-based central management and security policies over wired, wireless and VPN networks through to lifecycle management, performance assurance and compliance.

The Outcomes

The staff at LTH will no longer be constrained by their physical location, whether it be that of equipment, infrastructure or systems. Comprehensive clinical patient information will be readily available at the point of care enabling clinical staff to make more informed decisions quicker, dramatically decreasing inaccuracies and delays, ensuring better quality and safety.

Consistent and dependable access to a patient’s information and records at the point of care means that medical staff will be able to provide information in a more meaningful way significantly improving the patient experience. The patient is able to remain in the comfort of their hospital bed or care setting and medical staff are able to respond to questions and take actions immediately with the relevant information to hand.

The solution has also provided a solid foundation for projects currently being implemented such as location tracking, e-Observations, e-Meds and Order Communications allowing the Trust to be far more responsive and efficient, making savings on critical resources such as time and cost.

  • It’s so important that the partners we choose fully understand the IT healthcare demands we experience day to day. Block is that rare commodity that does, and it makes all the difference.

    Eileen Jessop
    Deputy Director of Informatics (IT)
  • Creating the right, connected & mobile infrastructure will greatly help the trust enable better patient care more effectively, even from the most difficult to access places.

    Eileen Jessop
    Deputy Director of Informatics (IT)