Ealing Hospital rolls out digital porter request system for A&E

The solution – called Infinity –  replaces an existing process whereby clinicians used a radio or tannoy to make requests and porters wrote them down on paper before deciding who would complete each one. 

With Infinity’s digital platform, staff working in the hospital’s A&E department can access Infinity from anywhere using their smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer, making it much more efficient to request and allocate portering tasks.

Porters now have instant and up-to-date information about the patients they need to collect, making it easier to find them and more efficient to allocate each request. Requesting staff can see in real-time when a patient has been collected and arrives at their destination. 

This is the trust’s first fully-remote implementation of a digital solution – necessary because of COVID-19 infection control protocols. Infinity Health will provide virtual training via video conference and films, with its technical team on hand for additional support.

Miriam Harris, Clinical Director for Emergency Medicine at LNWH, said: “Infinity has been a real success at our sister A&E service at Northwick Park so we’re really looking forward to its introduction at Ealing. It’s faster, more reliable and efficient than the previous system and enables porters to track tasks on their mobile phones. 

“It allows us to accurately track patient movement in and out of the department, making things a lot easier for staff as well as helping improve patient experience. “

Infinity Health’s CEO, Elliott Engers said: “We’re delighted to be once again working with the London North West team to improve the efficiency of portering services. This project is particularly timely in the current circumstances – not only will it bring the benefits already felt elsewhere in the trust to Ealing, but we hope it will help alleviate some of the extra pressure staff are under as they battle with the impact of coronavirus on staffing levels and patient demand.

“Using digital technologies like Infinity to solve some of the NHS’s most pressing challenges is something we know the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator wholeheartedly supports, and we are proud to be an alumnus of the programme.”

The new contract comes after Northwick Park Hospital, which is also part of LNWH, implemented Infinity two years ago, replacing a paper process and resulting in a saving of 10,000 hours (equivalent to five full-time members of staff) in its first year. The project also  won the “Driving Efficiency Through Technology” category at the prestigious HSJ Awards.