In a briefing paper the King’s Fund, the Health Foundation, and the Nuffield Trust predict that NHS staff shortages in England could increase from 100 000 at present to almost 250 000 by 2030 if not dealt with.
With no clear idea of what Brexit will bring, other than further uncertainty, staffing levels are not set to improve any time soon. The CQC continues relentlessly month after month to uncover yet more poor medicine management, or control of biological assets, so it’s no wonder that when Trusts rely on manual processes, staff shortages lead to these failures.
So why are so many Trusts are so slow to recognise that investment in automation releases pressured front line staff, it reduces errors in medication and prevents the loss of medicines and valuable stock? Sometimes it’s as simple as creating a simple business case.
But when was the last time someone trained NHS staff how to create a compelling business cases to support the investment in an automated solution?
Let us help you with some useful pointers from our experiences.
First, recognise the issue. This could be a CQC non-compliance related to medicine management, or a UKAS audit that flags up that your monitoring systems are not meeting the regulatory minimum requirements.
Or an MHRA inspection identifies areas which are not considered under control and auditable. Whatever the issue of compliance, quality or efficiency is, it will certainly have a cost implication and needs to be detailed and costed to support your case.
Calculating the cost of the current process should include not just the manual time absorbed but also the cost of failure and your exposure to risk. Any manual process requires the consistent attention of full-time front line staff, or issues will be missed and mistakes will be made. This might be a fridge full of medicines and their associated commercial cost. It could be litigation cost should a patient become unwell, or cost of corrective action, disposal, re-ordering, shortages, reports, re-training staff, integration with Pharmacy. All these areas have a cost implication and when examined the money potentially wasted is eye watering.
Firstly, front line staff are no longer needed to record data; the additional costs of bank or temp staff is immediately reduced. The monitored data is collected, saved and backed up continuously for you – while you and your qualified staff get on with your real jobs. The significance of this improvement in efficiency cannot be under-estimated
Perfectly formatted, auditable reports arrive at a push of a button when required, not after hours of painful spreadsheet analysis.
You now also have a wealth of historic data to learn from, that will underpin and improve processes. Data you can totally trust because an automated monitoring system is calibrated and maintained by qualified engineers, UKAS Certified on site.
Supplied as a managed service, the VAT normally applied to the costs of a system is refundable. Costs can be planned with certainty and budgeted over time – typically 5 – 10 years, with regular maintenance, updates, calibration and training all included. See how the Barking and Havering NHS Trust negotiated to achieve this.
The upsides from investing in an automated data and temperature monitoring system are obvious but the big one is total security; because your inventory is being monitored 24/7/365.
In the event of any excursion, such as a temperature failure (maybe door left open) or 02 levels fall, being detected, you are contacted immediately via a Tutela trained representative. They will describe the issue, where to find it and open a corrective action report.
All records are stored, backed up and secure for 30 years meaning you can effectively forget about them and concentrate on moving forwards and not looking backwards.
Because Tutela was designed from the ground up for medical and scientific applications, we saw connectivity between sites, departments, floors and even other hospitals and Trusts where close working relationships exist, as highly empowering. You can manage multiple sites through one interface, and the analytics available to compare site performance, even down to equipment supplier means you can identify further process improvements.
Don’t take our word for it, speak to some of our 1000’s of customers and inspirational leaders involved in day to day medicine management who have written business cases and have won the investment to make patient health outcomes, safer, more consistent and have protected their reputation without the need for additional staff and are seen as “World Class”. Or read some of our great testimonials