Expansion of hospital journey tracker project with Alzheimer’s Society

Date: Monday, 25th July 2022 | Category:

Following a successful pilot of a bespoke module on Phew’s Patient Discharge Management System (PDMS) for Alzheimer’s Society at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, we are excited to share that it is now also going to be trialled at Bedford Hospital.

Earlier this year, we teamed up with Alzheimer’s Society’s Innovation Team to create a new hospital journey tracker which would reduce the amount of time that people living with dementia spend in hospital unnecessarily and offer transparency of patient’s care.

The tracker, which has been co-designed with people affected by dementia and health and social care professionals, and developed within the PDMS, sends email status updates to a named patient representative to inform them of what is happening now in a patient’s care, what is expected to happen next, an anticipated discharge date and when the patient was discharged. It was implemented at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital in March and findings from this pilot have been extremely positive. Just some of the comments from patient representatives collated by the Innovation Team are:

  • ‘It has eased my mind and given us a definite date of discharge.’ 
  • ‘He cannot tell me what is happening because of his dementia. And sometimes it's not easy to get through to the ward so the update was very welcome.’ 
  • ‘Keeps us informed and helps us make informed decisions.’  
  • ‘So much better than calling and hoping to speak to a doctor. May be left on hold for ages or may not be able to speak with a doctor when I called.’ 

Staff at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital also said:

  • ‘The app has been easy to use, as well as signing people up.’
  • ‘I have noticed a positive change on the ward l'm currently working in. Family members feel at ease knowing they're able to receive adequate feedback without difficulty.’

The pilot has shown that the tracker has a good proof of concept, but further data needs to be gathered to demonstrate the effectiveness and outcomes across multiple sites.

The tracker will continue to be used within Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, but from July to September, it will also be implemented at Bedford Hospital. This will provide the data required to highlight the overall impact on dementia patient discharge practice.

Natasha Howard-Murray, Senior Innovator at Alzheimer’s Society, commented: “We're really pleased to hear that people affected by dementia have felt more informed, better communicated with, and prepared for discharge, as a result of signing up to the tracker.

“Expanding the pilot for two additional months in Bedford Hospital, alongside Luton and Dunstable Hospital, means that we can get even more data to further demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of the tracker and how it can work across multiple sites.

“We hope that all of this will help towards reducing unnecessarily longer stays for people with dementia, and give a better experience for them and their families as they go through their hospital journey.”

You can read more about the role of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Innovation Team and the fantastic work they do here: www.alzheimers.org.uk/research/our-research/dementia-innovation