Blog 27 November 2020

Waiting List Management – From design to live in a week with low-code

by Clare Rafferty

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Due to the impact of COVID and a backlog of patient surgeries, waiting lists have unfortunately lengthened. The NHS needs to master a way to move forward and calculate who still needs their treatment and how best to prioritise their patient flow.

NHS England is focusing on this issue and requires up-to-date waiting list information from Trusts.


The challenge


Hospitals are being asked to contact patients to check if they still need their operations. The outcomes will help determine waiting list priorities. Normally, this contact would be done by letter. Patients are asked about their treatment and then should phone back to provide the information required. For the patients who do not respond, a follow-up call would be made.

UHS Digital planned their response to this need. Yet, the work was extra demand on Hospital staff with already stretched resources. The GDE, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) contacted Netcall, a trusted tech partner, on a Friday to discuss their plans for a secure, streamlined and effective way to handle this need.

Partnership working capacity increases when teams use low-code. Using agile methods teams can build in an iterative manner. Netcall took the initial requirements and was able to build a minimum viable product within three business days.


The solution


On the Tuesday, the solution was presented to USH Digital and clinicians for a feedback session. The updates and refinements were incorporated in real-time and then released to user acceptance testing. The power of low-code and agile working made it possible to release a solution to go-live within a week.


How it works


Mobile details are available for 75% of the 8,500 patients that UHS need to contact. They are sent SMS messages and asked to provide a secure response online. Currently, 88% of these patients have interacted with these communications. Patients who do not initially respond are sent reminder SMS messages. Letters have been sent out to the 25% of patients who haven’t provided mobile numbers. Those patients can then access the website, complete the survey, and provide their mobile number.


The outcome


The number of responses received on the first day has exceeded what could be collected within the first few weeks using a traditional manual approach.

Using low-code in this way has:

  • Significantly reduced the number of calls the Trust would have had to handle to understand patients’ waiting list requirements
  • Maximised the available data to be returned to NHS England in the shortest possible time
  • Implemented an efficient process with detailed feedback and management reporting
  • Allowed valuable clinical resources to be focussed on the patients that need help most immediately

Working with Netcall, UHS has been able to supercharge the speed of change for frontline patient needs. They’re already looking at addressing their next requirement for vaccinating staff against COVID, also using the same low-code platform.


You can download the app too!


The Netcall User Community is growing. Our on-going investment includes sharing solutions with customers. Waiting list management affects all NHS hospitals. To assist other hospitals to find a rapid solution to support waiting patients, this Waiting List Management solution is available on our AppShare.

The Netcall AppShare is a place where customers are able to share content, modules and other materials to benefit their peers in the community free-of-charge.

If you’d like to download this app or learn how Liberty Create, our low-code platform, can help you address similar health process automation requirements, please contact us here.


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