Suffolk & North East Essex Shadow Integrated Care System

Robots make time matter in cardiorespiratory

June 2019

Virtual robots are making time matter for our staff, as well as patients, in Colchester Hospital’s Cardio-Respiratory department.

Robotic automation has been introduced to take the strain out of the referral process and give time back to colleagues so they can offer more support to clinical teams and patients.

The team were receiving a huge amount of referrals for diagnostic tests, ranging from electrocardiograms (ECGs), cardiac echoes, pacemaker checks and lung function tests, and the administration team were struggling to keep up. The booking co-ordinator was even starting her shift an hour early every day to try and stay on top of the work load.

Now she doesn’t have to do that.

Sharon Archer, head of Cardio-Respiratory at Colchester Hospital, said: “It takes the pressure off and my team have more time do their jobs. My booking co-ordinator can now get straight on with booking the patients, managers can see the true volume of work coming through the department and we are able to identify the demand very quickly and plan to put on extra lists where needed.

“This also means we have more time to phone patients with their appointment times which should ultimately lead to a reduction in our ‘did not attend’ rate and patients trying to get through to the department to re-arrange their appointments.”