How the Neutral Vendor Solution accelerates the introduction of innovation into the NHS
Recent news of a new cancer screening technology that could be rolled out to the NHS as soon as next year has a lot of people excited. It is one more in what seems like a flurry of announcements recently of breakthrough medical technology. But are we too quick to herald game-changing technology without ensuring the right foundations are in place?
The news of a testing innovation seems relevant due to the work Constellia have been doing with Salutare – an innovative digital Healthtech company who are working to remedy many of the inefficiencies that plague our testing processes. They have been doing incredible work with various NHS Trusts to reduce testing turnarounds and improve patient choice. But just as remarkable as the solutions they are putting in place is the reason why they are necessary in the first place.
Despite the relentless drive of ministers to push forward digitisation of the NHS, staff still write labels on blood samples by hand before others manually relabel them on arrival in pathology. This incurs an expensive labour burden that delays analysis, raises costs, and leads to mistakes. Patient experience is poor when there is a “no form means no blood test” policy even when orders are digitised.
Potentially lethal mistakes in the labelling of blood samples are now at a record high, having more than doubled since 2010. Britain’s patient safety body is quoted as saying that there were more than 800 incidents where incorrect labelling almost resulted in “catastrophic consequences.” Constellia asked Chris Dial , CEO of Salutare, if testing operations need to be modernised.
Yes absolutely. There’s too much manual labelling and relabelling.Chris Dial, CEO, Salutare
Meanwhile Salutare’s own research shows that patients want more choice of where to have their blood taken. Currently, patients can only attend the GP practice or a hospital phlebotomy centre. Patients don’t like to go to the hospital. It is expensive to park, it has long waits, and then you get sent away if you don’t have a paper form. Why can’t patients have their blood taken in the community or pharmacy? Ten years ago, when flu jabs were introduced into the pharmacy, it was considered outrageous, and yet now it is the norm.
Salutare has shown through their research that patients don’t have the choice of where to go that’s convenient for them. Their surveys of hundreds of patients show a real interest in the option of attending a local pharmacy to do their blood and non-blood tests, but current testing operations limit the ability of this to happen.
Salutare’s solution is Clearinghouse, which brings together all GP and hospital requests into a single cloud-based service meaning it can be accessed anytime and anywhere. It prints an analyser-ready barcoded label so that samples can be analysed immediately upon arrival in the lab. Having been introduced at a number of NHS Trusts, user reception has been overwhelmingly positive, the service generates financial savings, and it is easy to use.
At Constellia we pride ourselves on being able to introduce solutions to the market where frameworks or procurement processes are too slow.
Constellia have helped simplify the process to work with the NHS Trusts in procurement and payments. They have brought our attention to other tenders and customers which may be interested in the solutions we have.Chris Dial, CEO, Salutare
Salutare’s success is yet more evidence that solutions are out there for improving processes and reducing risk in healthcare.
If you’re a healthcare organisation struggling to introduce innovative technologies, or a vendor with innovative solutions, then let’s have a conversation and explore how Constellia could help.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0330 320 8020.
IT & Technology Business Partner, Constellia
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