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NHS Scotland to deploy scheduling tool for operating theatres


Mark Say Managing Editor

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NHS Scotland has announced a plan to roll out a new scheduling software for operating theatres.

It said this is expected to reduce hospital waiting times and improve efficiency in NHS boards across the country over the next year.

The tool has been developed by clinician led company Infix, and in pilots at three health borads improved the efficiency of operating theatres by up to 25% without the need for extra medical staff, NHS Scotland said.

It also enabled the completion of additional operations for patients, helping to produce significant financial savings.

Driving improvements

Health Secretary Neil Gray said: “Better use of data and digital technology is critical to how we drive improvements in healthcare and is a key part of our plans to reform services.

“This technology is backed by more than five years’ worth of NHS operating times data and is just one of the initiatives that will help enable us to schedule 1.5 million procedures per year - while improving data quality to help safely increase productivity. This will help maximise capacity, build greater resilience and reduce waiting lists.

“Reducing the administrative burden on staff will give them more time to spend on patient care. This is a shining example of how we are embracing cutting edge tools to tackle the challenges facing health and social care.”

The contract for the implementation was awarded to Infix following a competitive procurement process and contributes to the Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Care Strategy. It also forms part of the effort to eradicate long waits.

The announcement said a study by Health Improvement Scotland, Technology Enabled Theatre Scheduling Systems, shows the use of the software in the trial at NHS Lothian produced an average daily cost saving of 7%, approximately £1.8 million per year.


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