Case Study – Patient Journey Management at Gold Coast University Hospital
Gold Coast University Hospital is the busiest health facility on the Gold Coast region of Queensland, Australia, and the demand for its services has at times resulted in long queues and extended wait times for patients. The existing paper based clinic management system was resource intensive, could not provide historical data about the patient journey, did not provide visibility of the patient location during their journey and did not provide data to analyze clinic performance or make improvements.
Following the successful implementation of Q-nomy's Patient Journey solution at Robina Hospital, by our partner and integrator in Australia, NEXA, Gold Coast Health awarded NEXA the contract to implement a health service wide patient flow optimization solution in five key departments at the recently opened GCUH.
These included the Pathology Collections, Cancer and Blood Disorders Outpatient and Day Unit Service, Women's Outpatients, Adult Outpatients and Children's Outpatients Departments.
It was identified that to manage the existing demand and growth for services, a more efficient automated solution would be required with auditability, accountability, visibility, report-ability and historical data.
GCUH was after a solution that would effectively address each step of their patient journey to improve the patient experience and enhance operational efficiencies. It was essential the solution integrated with core systems to improve productivity and minimize resistance from clinicians, nurses and staff.
NEXA worked closely with the GCUH project team to optimize and customize the patient journey, based on Q-nomy's Q-Flow software platform, through each of the five departments. Over a 6-month period, the team embraced a staggered roll out to manage change and to ensure the next department did not face any challenges that could not easily be overcome – a test and learn approach.
NEXA installed 20 kiosks across the five departments for patients to self-check-in and be directed to the most appropriate waiting area. Patients are provided with multiple choices for check-in including swiping their Medicare or DVA card, scanning the barcode on their clinic appointment letter, entering their name and DOB or their UR Number.
Kiosk screens are customized by department, and provide seven languages to cater for the wide array of nationalities who visit GCUH. Patients are no longer called to clinic consulting rooms by name, they are issued with a ticket from the kiosk with a ticket number, which is then displayed and called via many strategically placed digital screens. The digital screens are dual purpose providing patients with a source of entertainment via streamed TV and customizable scrolling text showing specific patient care messages and clinic schedule notifications.
Clinic administration, nurses and clinicians have visibility of all patient appointment status and locations and are able to prioritize appointments in real time. NEXA’s solution interfaces to the Queensland Health patient administration system (PAS) HBCIS via JCAPS (middleware) and HL7 messaging streamlining patient demographic maintenance, appointment scheduling and status updating in HBCIS as the patient arrives and is seen. Clinicians’ follow up instructions for each patient appointment are captured on the electronic form so that they are easily processed and actioned at the conclusion of the patient appointment prior to the patient leaving the facility.
NEXA’s solution offers multiple standard reports, both real-time dashboards and historical option to customize specific reports. These are invaluable to management as they provide the necessary performance data to make ongoing improvements to the service and patient experience.
Q-Flow has helped transform the GCUH patient experience and made it more efficient. Thanks to real-time data and reporting capabilities of the Q-nomy's Patient Journey solution, delivered by NEXA, GCUH has achieved the following outcomes:
- In the past, patients could wait up to 20 minutes just to check in for their appointment. Now with Q-Flow self-check in takes 30 seconds.
- Due to more timely and effective communications, appointment confirmation rates have risen, up to 80% in some departments.
- Streamlined automated business processes have improved reporting and audit capabilities, provided wait time and consult time reporting, reduced paperwork and provided visibility of patient whereabouts as they move through pre consultation services (pathology, medical imaging etc.)
- Electronic Forms have eliminated follow-up paperwork requirements and provide easy to access historical outcomes for all patient appointments.
- Patient feedback to date has been positive and the privacy provided by the system is preferred to the old style of using people’s names in public areas.
- Clinic staff appreciate the ability to easily access real-time data on the patient journey and the ability to view how many patients are waiting to be seen and how the clinic is performing.
- Patients appreciate the communication via customizable scrolling text on the digital screens, keeping them informed with general patient care messages and clinic schedule notifications.
“The service delivery experience within the departments has been transformed. Q-Flow has integrated patient, clinician, nursing, and administration needs and dramatically improved the department’s communication and management of patient flow, creating a more engaged experience for staff and patients.” - Jessica Bevan, Acting Data Quality Manager for GCHHS