Innovative project wins awards for patient care

A project to help improve patient care designed by clinicians from Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals (RB&HH), in collaboration with colleagues from across King’s Health Partners (KHP), has won in two categories at this year’s ‘Health Tech Digital Awards’ for New Health Tech Innovation of the Year and Best Innovation Project of the Year.

The Royal Brompton and Harefield surveillance team, working with their colleagues from across KHP, designed a new platform that allows patients to take images of their surgical wounds post-operation and send them to their clinical teams without having to travel to the hospital. The RB&HH surveillance team record data about wounds post-operation so that practice can be improved to prevent infections in patients.

The platform, which was created in collaboration with health technology company Isla, allows clinicians to monitor the rate the wound heals after discharge, as well as look for the first signs of possible infections, while saving the patient time by not having to travel into hospital. This innovative solution for post-operation wound management has been rolled out at Harefield Hospital by the thoracic team and the cardiac nursing staff, and by the paediatrics department at Royal Brompton Hospital, and the innovative solution is currently being rolled out at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

When patients are discharged from hospital, they receive a colour photograph of their surgical wound and information about how to take care of their wound. Patients then use the platform to submit images of their surgical site and a wound assessment form at various points in the crucial 30 days following discharge. To date, this solution has saved an average of 27km of travel per patient (based on 330 patients who have used the platform to supply photos).

Nora Mayer, clinical fellow in cardiothoracic surgery at Harefield Hospital, said: “This fantastic project focuses on improving patient experience and outcomes after surgery. It is a more efficient way to monitor patients post-operation as it ensures patients are followed-up without the need to come into hospital. It also demonstrates how hospitals can collaborate to improve patient care.”

Melissa Rochon, quality and safety lead for surveillance at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, said: “It’s exciting to see how valuable this is already to our patients and the care we provide, even though we are at the very earliest stages in this development.”

The platform has also received excellent feedback from patients, with one patient commenting: “This is the future!”

King's Health Partners is an Academic Health Sciences Centre where world-class research, education and clinical practice are brought together for the benefit of patients. Its partners are King's College London, and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts. Since RB&HH merged with GSTT in February 2021, RB&HH are now part of KHP.