Louise Downey

Investigating the IBD helpline ran at the University Hospital Southampton.

Nurse recognition award for improvement in patient care.

“A data driven service evaluation of an IBD help line – a joint collaboration with the IBD and bioinformatics team at University Hospital Southampton.”

With the rise of those being diagnosed with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), IBD helplines have become increasingly more busy. The ambition of this project was to reduce the costs of the service, increase the volume of calls handled successfully along with highlighting high-service users who might benefit from a more targeted intervention.

Louise and the IBD team were fortunate to have access to the digital services at the University Hospital Southampton. They were able to access large volumes of electronic healthcare record (HER) data from the hospital system. A structured query language was used to pull all the data into tables and areas that were of interest, e.g. calls, the reason (such as a flare), medication, administration etc. This was then analysed to include what investigations preceded each call.

“The data showed that service improvement can be achieved by making some very small changes for maximum impact. For example, we identified that some patients accounted for up to 35 of the phone calls within six months — the top 2% of service users consumed over 10% of the total activity time. We thus implemented flare-slots in endoscopy for these patients so they would be seen directly by an IBD consultant in endoscopy – a ‘one-stop-shop’ for decision making. We also increased the scope of nursing clinic appointments and utilised electronic health records for patients – (My Medical Record) which allows registered patients to access test results and view their clinic letters and upcoming appointments.

The results also highlighted ways we were already working innovatively. Overall, the project resulted in increased capacity within the service, reduced variation and improved efficiency. The team feel empowered to continue the change and keep the improvements coming.”

“Receiving this award after such a tough and challenging year for myself and my colleagues was a wonderful surprise and provided a much needed boost! Thank you Dr Falk and Guts UK!”

Louise Downey

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