When the booking of outpatient appointments is managed effectively, system efficiency and patient satisfaction increases. But it is a complicated process which has become more complex still in recent months. The severe outpatient backlog following the pandemic has meant extensive reprioritisation of patients and increased the need to change and rebook appointments, many of which have moved from in person to virtual.
So how can such challenges best be managed? How can hospitals ensure the most effective management of outpatient appointment booking in the coming months and beyond? How might technology and digitisation – including automation of previously analogue processes – help here?
This HSJ webinar, run in association with Blue Prism, was held on Tuesday 25 May and brought together a small panel of experts to discuss these important issues.
Claire Read, contributor, HSJ
Claire Read is a professional writer and editor who has specialised in healthcare throughout her 20-year career. She has been a regular contributor to HSJ since 2012 and has a particular interest in healthcare digitisation and technology.
Karen Gorman, healthcare account director, Blue Prism
As healthcare account director at Blue Prism, Karen Gorman is focused on building strong client relationships, helping organisations to deliver world class care and deliver on their business goals. She has over 30 years’ experience in software sales, the last 12 of them dedicated to healthcare.
Sharon Osterfield, head of automation and programme manager – transformation, Royal Surrey Foundation Trust
Sharon has spent 27 years working in healthcare, beginning her career as a cardiac physiologist before progressing into operational and transformational roles within both acute and community care. In her current role, she leads the implementation of robotic process automation within Royal Surrey FT – focusing on improving the effectiveness of services, including the management of patients on elective care waiting lists.
Nicholas Sands, director of transformation, Royal Surrey Foundation Trust
Nick joined Royal Surrey Foundation Trust in 2017, initially as deputy chief operating officer. He was appointed director of transformation in 2019. He spent the early part of his career in the automotive industry working with McLaren and Toyota, learning how to develop a culture of continuous improvement.
Sarah Reed, senior fellow in policy and research, Nuffield Trust
Sarah Reed joined the Nuffield Trust in February 2020 as senior fellow in policy and research. Prior to joining the Trust, she worked as an improvement fellow at the Health Foundation where she led a research portfolio focused on the role of the NHS in prevention, workforce productivity and outpatient care transformation. Sarah’s research interests include international health and social care systems, integrated care, health inequalities, clinical commissioning, and NHS reform. She has an MSc in International Health Policy from the London School of Economics.