Automating Waiting List Validation

Published On: March 5, 2024|

Waiting List Validation: NHS organisations turn to Intelligent Automation to validate patients on the waiting list

As of December 2023, there were 7.6 million people on a waiting list in England. This figure has almost tripled over the past decade, and is up 66% on the 4.59 million patients that were waiting in December 2020, as the NHS continues to fight against the long-term impacts of Covid-19.

The NHS Waiting List

As the NHS Waiting List hits record highs, Trusts have been set the daunting task of validating entire waiting lists, to ensure that all patients on the waiting list still wish to be seen and removing those that no longer require assessment or treatment.

There are some patients who can be removed from waiting lists, for example, if they have already received care elsewhere, their symptoms have resolved, or they do not wish to be seen anymore. This artificially inflates the waiting list figures, and leads to elongated wait times for those patients who wish to be seen.

Several of our customers have already turned to Intelligent Automation to validate waiting lists and update patient requirements keeping waiting lists up to date.

  • System Priorities

    • Waits of longer than a year for elective care will be eliminated by March 2025
    • 95% of patients needing a diagnostic test to receive it within 6 weeks by March 2025
    • Aim to deliver around 30% more elective activity by 2024/25 than before the pandemic
Improves Waitlist Managements

Improves Waitlist Management

Reduces Referral Backlog

Reduces Referral Backlog

Transforms Patient Care

Improves Patient Prioritisation

Optimises Trust Resources

Referral Management

Enhances Patient
Communications

Increases Data Accuracy

Donna Steeles, Assistant Director, Performance and Improvement

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust

“Using automation to validate our waiting list has enhanced our ability to keep our waiting lists up to date so that we can offer earlier appointments to patients. By regularly engaging with patients directly, we have improved patient communication and empowered patients to inform us of their healthcare requirements.”

Using Intelligent Automation to Carry Out Waiting List Validation

To reduce waiting times, the priority for most Trusts should be to validate their waiting lists and remove patients that no longer wish to be seen. Trusts need a fast and effective way to communicate with patients in order to understand who wants to remain on a waiting list for, and who can be removed as they no longer require review.

Patients are often contacted via NHS App, SMS, email or a patient portal, and in other cases, by phone or letter. Regardless of the mechanism used to contact patients, there is usually a disconnect between where the responses come back into, and the Trust’s Patient Administration System (PAS). As such, staff are required to manually input information into the PAS and update patient records and send the appropriate communications to patients and their GP’s.

To meet NHS England’s objectives of reducing waiting lists and prioritising patients, it is crucial that organisations find a way to bridge the gap between receiving patient responses and actioning them. Several of e18 Innovation’s customers, including Leeds Teaching Hospitals, University Hospitals Sussex, and Harrogate & District, have turned to Intelligent Automation tools to do so.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals (LTHT) were our first customer to implement a Waiting List Validation automation, in November 2022. As of February 2024, this automation had validated over 78,000 patients, and removed c8,000 waiters that no longer needed to be seen. This automation also saves LTHT just under 10,500 hours of staff time per annum; the Trust would need to employ 7.5 additional WTE if the process were to be completed manually instead.

University Hospitals Sussex and Harrogate & District have also rolled out similar automations to address the same problem, more recently. These solutions not only provide an accurate waiting list, but also improve patient outcomes, as they support the prioritisation of patients that need to be seen. Finally, automating aspects of Waiting List Validation transforms patient communications, provides patients with much-needed clarity as to when they will likely be seen, and enhances data accuracy.

Ruby Ali, Director of Operations

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

“By automating the waiting list validation process, we have been able to validate nearly 80,000 patients and discharge around 10% of them. This innovation has not only fostered a patient-centric approach, but also optimised resource allocation within our Trust.”

Transforming Diagnostics in the NHS through Automation

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