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Partnering to improve imaging diagnostic capacity

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At a glance

Partner

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, Surrey, UK

Challenge

Increase capacity of diagnostic imaging service to reduce patient wait times and costly outsourcing, despite limited funding

Results

  • Increased equipment availability to over 99%
  • Reduced patient waiting times for scan from 25 days to 11
  • Increased imaging usage capacity at Ashford site by 39%
  • Improved working life of staff with enhanced environment and development opportunities

The imaging departments of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals in the UK urgently needed to update aging equipment in order to meet growing patient demand, but had very limited capital investment to draw on.

The hospitals engaged Philips in a 10-year managed services partnership in 2013, to support a customized overhaul of their radiology and maternity ultrasound services. Philips worked with Ashford and St Peter’s to provide them with data insights to optimize investment decisions and future-proof their service. Clinicians now have access to the equipment they need, such as ultrasound elastography and cardiac CT, while a training program has equipped staff with resource and data analysis skills to continue improving patient care and experiences.
Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the largest provider of acute hospital services in the English county of Surrey, serving a population of 410,000. The Trust provides a range of services including radiological and ultrasound imaging across two hospital sites.

"Leaving Philips to deal with suppliers has freed up more than 15% of my schedule – every day"

 

 

Andrew Moth

Radiology Manager during the procurement

The challenge  

 

The outdated imaging facilities of Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals included analogue X-ray rooms and poorly performing imaging equipment, which contributed to patients waiting 25 days for a scan. Unable to provide diagnostic technologies such as cardiac CT, virtual colonoscopies and proctograms, the Trust had to outsource these services, at a cost, to meet patient needs. Two of the general X-ray rooms at the Ashford Hospital had operating uptimes as low as 65%, while another two imaging rooms were in such a poor state that they could not be used at all. Ashford and St Peter’s required an urgent solution that could provide state-of-the-art facilities for their patients, without a high up-front capital investment.

 

“Before the partnership, our clinical delivery was suffering. Some of the diagnostic equipment was 32 years old. Each year the need to update got greater, but the scope of replacement became even more unreachable,” said Susan Farrell, Lead Superintendent Radiographer at Ashford an St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The solution  

 

The managed services approach aims to provide hospitals with a long-term solution, with Philips not only sourcing, installing, and integrating medical equipment and technology, but also taking on the responsibility for its maintenance and availability for clinical use, as well as delivering staff training to foster continuous improvement.

"We’re getting the best from our resources: improving the patient experience and our working lives for better outcomes."

 

 

Susan Farrell

Lead Superintendent Radiographer, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Having identified that 72% of the imaging equipment within the scope of the agreement needed to be replaced, the managed services team developed a tailored plan to replace all imaging equipment. In the first two years of the 10-year partnership, Philips installed over £4 million (or over $5 million) of imaging equipment. The team dovetailed this with staff training on how to use data and Lean methodologies in a healthcare setting to plan and deliver a more efficient and cost-effective diagnostic imaging service to patients.

Results

The partnership has delivered measureable improvements across the imaging services and reduced patient wait times for a scan from 25 days to just 11. The Ashford site saw imaging usage capacity improve by 39% over fewer rooms, while CT capacity increased 33% and ultrasound capacity increased 25%.

 

By ensuring that all equipment is on the appropriate service contracts, closely managing suppliers so that hospital managers have more free time, and operating a quickresponse time to address faults, Philips has increased availability across the entire fleet of imaging equipment to 99.27% – exceeding contractual obligations.

Ashford infographic

Looking forward

 

To ensure the long-term partnership remains flexible and mutually beneficial for all parties, the contract includes a change control process that enables the Trust to update or improve the agreement as needed, which has been successfully used multiple times. 

 

Results are specific to the institution where they are obtained and may not reflect the results achievable at other institutions.