Teams at Whipps Cross work together to improve patient experience
The Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team at Whipps Cross Hospital were faced with a problem. Twenty pieces of equipment, called scopes, were being used so regularly in outpatients clinics that they were running short while waiting for them to be cleaned for reuse multiple times a day.
Nurses had to walk a long way from the Outpatients Department to Endoscopy to clean each piece of equipment – taking up to 30 minutes each time. With patients waiting to be seen and consultants ready to run their clinics, the scopes were often missing.
The Outpatients and ENT teams decided that things needed to change. So they banded together to find a way to make sure that staff had the right equipment at the right time so that patients could be seen sooner.
Their solution was simple - clean the scopes in the Outpatients clinic. The League of Friends generously donated funds for an additional machine that would thoroughly clean and decontaminate the scopes. An added bonus is that the state-of-the-art equipment has drastically cut the time it takes to clean each scope; from over 10 minutes down to two minutes.
Jacque Wells, outpatients nurse, said: “Being able to clean equipment within the department rather than go all the way to Endoscopy has saved us so much time, which will have a huge impact on how quickly we see patients.”
“It has made such a big difference to staff who work in the clinic,” explained Gill Regan, ENT nurse practitioner, when talking about the new way of working within the clinic.
“It’s one of our hospital’s values isn’t it? To work collaboratively. And doing so has not only allowed us to improve conditions for staff, but also improve our patients’ experience because now they don’t need to wait around while the equipment is being cleaned.”