About Debashish Das
Debashish is a Consultant Cardiologist at Barts Hospital NHS Trust with a passion and history of service improvement within the NHS. The passion Debashish has for digital health led him to to develop a virtual clinic platform (Ortus-iHealth). The goal was to combine virtual consultations, a patient portal and patient reported outcome measurement (PROMs) generation into one easy to use platform.
Deashish was commended for the Digital Pioneer Fellowship 2020 Impact Award.
Problem: Outpatient services in the UK are lacking capacity and require innovative approaches to deal with increasing pressures. St. Bartholomew Hospital is a perfect example. A lack of capacity in outpatients has led to the introduction of waiting time initiative clinics to relieve pressure, but at added expense. Current DNA rates are ~10-12% across Barts Heart Centre and Barts Cancer Centre, while the recent CQC inspection mandates better utilisation of the outpatient’s department and improved patient pathways. Barts requires a means of improving the outpatient service efficiently while also improving patient care.
Solution: Having delivered successful pilots for cancer and cardiac patients, the current transformation project involves scaling up and delivering digitisation of clinical pathways. Initially, this will be through increasing the use of virtual clinics and video conferencing. As Debashish gathers data via remote monitoring and patient reported outcomes, he will facilitate further intelligent pathway change to ultimately reduce the outpatient burden.
Scale: Debashish aims to deliver 7 clinical pathway changes between April 2019 and April 2020. It is estimated this will change the nature of at least what would have been 3000 outpatient contacts.
Desired impact: Through this transformation project Debashish aims to achieve greater access to care for patients and their families. Improve efficiencies, productivity for clinicians and cost-savings in the delivery of care. Overall, Debashish aims to improve the quality of care and patient satisfaction.
Progress to date: Dabashish pulled together a virtual clinic board to try and coordinate the scale up effort, consisting of general managers and clinicians. Working with clinicians he was able to identify 5 different clinical pathways suitable for transforming to virtual care. As at December 2019 the project had 7 clinics live, with 700 patients having had a virtual consultation since April. Virtual clinics ranged from video consultations to a pure digital review. As at December 2019 the KPIs that they are tracking indicate a positive story with: Significant patient satisfaction, Significant time and money savings for patients and Increased efficiency in clinics – more patients seen, reduction in DNAs.
“I joined the Fellowship programme because I had already started a virtual clinic programme and I wanted to develop the digital part of my NHS career, build my CV and network.
The elements of the programme that created the most value for me were networking and my Action Learning Set group interactions were great for bouncing ideas around. I’ve embedded some of the learnings from the session into my project management approach around Agile and Design Thinking. I now have regular contact with the mentors which has been great.
Since joining the Fellowship programme I have successfully secured my Consultant post at Bart’s health having been a Registrar in April. My virtual consultation programme has been pivotal in creating a Consultant post for me at Bart’s Health, which is where I wanted to be.
When I started on the Fellowship programme, I felt very confident about what I was trying to do. Over the time of the programme, I have become much more aware of the elements that can affect my ability to implement this successfully, but at the same time, it is has been sobering and has made me realise that I still need to understand my stakeholders better.”