Senior Clinical Fellow – Emergency Medicine
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Biography: Patrick is an Emergency Medicine doctor with eight years of postgraduate experience. He trained in South Africa and has worked in various healthcare systems and departments. Currently, he is working as a registrar in A&E with the aim of entering formal specialist training. Patrick works with the consultants to run the department across the three areas of the Emergency Department (ED): Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC), Majors, and Resus. He also aids junior doctors with the management of their patients.
Apart from his clinical work, Patrick has a particular interest in health systems and improving efficiency by enhancing flow through the hospital system to meet patient expectations and improve health outcomes. He recognizes that ED serves as the patients’ first contact with the hospital system and is keenly aware that improvements made there can have life- and trajectory-changing ripple effects on a patient’s journey through the hospital system.
Horizon Fellowship project summary: The problem that Patrick is hoping to address is the infinite demand placed on the healthcare system due to the varied presentations of patients, coupled with the finite supply of healthcare resources. The challenge lies in optimizing healthcare workers’ efficiency and improving patients’ experience by enhancing patient flow through the department.
In the UTC area of ED, lower acuity patients often experience frustration due to long waiting times without communication about the expected duration. Patrick aims to innovate a distance waiting platform where patients can register and self-triage, providing the history of their presenting complaint digitally. They would then be given an estimated time for when they might be seen, during which they would not have to physically sit in the waiting room. The goal is to send the patient a follow-up message when they are soon to be seen. Patrick believes that implementing this system would alleviate the congestion in the waiting room, improve patient expectations, and save healthcare workers’ time by reducing the need to take a full history at the time the patient is seen.
Estimated number of patients / staff impacted by the project: Very difficult to estimate the impact of a project of this type.
Goal(s) for time on the Horizon Fellowship programme: Patrick’s goal is to implement the project for a duration of at least 6-12 months. However, he acknowledges that the project will require multiple trial periods, process evaluations, reflections, and subsequent impact evaluations to ensure its long-term effectiveness and sustainability, following the Plan-Do-Study-Act methodology.