Operational productivity in hospitals: part 2

11 July 2016

A relentless focus on quality of care and safety is best for patients and good for the health economy. In hospital, three areas which result in the biggest impact on patients’ morbidity, mortality and on cost of care are delayed or inaccurate diagnosis, medication errors and hospital acquired infections.

Lord Carter’s recommendations to eliminate unwarranted variation from across the hospital network and to transform pathology and hospital pharmacy, when implemented, will not only drive much greater operational efficiency but will also improve safety and patient outcomes.

The consequences of antimicrobial resistance by 2050, if we don’t act now, is frightening and whilst Lord O’Neil’s report emphasises the importance of incentivising research and development into new antibiotics, these will take time to come on stream. Today in the community, most decisions by GPs to prescribe antibiotics are not guided by a diagnostic test, leading to inappropriate antibiotic use and higher prescribing. So whilst we wait for new antibiotics, eliminating unwarranted variation in the prevention of infections, improving speed and accuracy of diagnosis when infection is suspected and delivering the correct antibiotic safely and effectively can make a significant impact on the development of AMR right now.

Standardising to best practice across our acute and specialist care network, at the scale and pace required by Lord Carter, will require investment in the best technologies and services which are available today. The concern is that incremental funding earmarked for investment in new technologies could be compromised by paying down the £2.5bn deficit run up by hospitals in 2015/16. So Industry has a big part to play in supporting the required transformation.

BD is a global medical device company, and across the world we are investing to advance healthcare. In the UK we are working with some leading NHS acute care organisations to help them reimagine diagnostic services to drive accuracy and efficiency. We are helping to transform pharmacy and drug delivery to reduce waste and significantly improve patient safety.

The millions of interventions carried out every day in the NHS generate a huge amount of data. Using this data to inform better clinical decision making needs to become the norm across the patient pathway.  At BD we have designed actionable intelligence into our solutions, so not only do we establish a continuous improvement loop, we generate evidence to demonstrate the value of these transformations.  So, in partnership with our customers, this allows us to explore innovative ways of financing the investment required.

Our aim is for hospitals to view BD as valuable partners in helping to transform their services to deliver higher quality and safer care for patients.

Mike Fairbourn, Vice President & General Manager, UK & Ireland, BD

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