Thursday 22 Oct 2020: NHSquicker: Shaping Demand for Urgent Care through Real-Time Data and Digital Nudges
Nav Mustafee - Univesity of Exeter, Business School, Centre for Simulation, Analytics and Modelling
This research and impact study aims to investigate if indirect suggestions (nudges) can support patients in need of urgent care to make more informed decisions about available healthcare choices. The nudge is digital in nature and is delivered through the NHSquicker app. The app informs patients of alternative facilities for care that are located at a catchment-level (e.g., hospitals with A&E departments, urgent care centres [UCC] and minor injury units [MIU] that are part of the urgent care network). By combining the current wait time with travel time, the app directs users towards facilities where they may be seen quicker, so that patients can choose the appropriate type of treatment facility for their condition. Thus, beneficially, only those with more serious needs present at the A&E, thereby reducing overall demand on the A&E facilities by redirecting less serious cases to the more appropriate facilities of MIUs/UCCs. A&E waiting times are thereby reduced. It also helps to shape demand across the urgent care network by encouraging patients to choose an appropriate destination and optimal time of visit. NHSquicker is currently live in all of Devon and Cornwall and covers parts of Somerset and Bristol. It receives real-time data from 27 centres for urgent care, including nine emergency departments.
In this talk, Nav will present the context and motivation for this work, the process of co-development of the solution with several NHS Trusts in the South West of England (as part of the Health and Care IMPACT Network), the data standard and the IT architecture, the initial rollout and deployment and the current evidence of impact.