Thousands of patients are dying every year and hospitals are wasting up to 15% of their entire budget as a result of poor handover.
The UK NHS wastes at least £250m a year from delays to discharge and the same problem is seen in hospitals throughout the world. Today, healthcare start-up CAREFUL has launched its platform to help make handover safe, save lives and speed-up patient flow in hospitals by making discharges quicker to save costs and improve care.
Handover is a critical process in healthcare when responsibility for patients transfers from one clinician or team to another. In every hospital, thousands of such handovers take place every week. Most hospitals use a combination of inefficient, informal communication systems for handover including bits of paper, sticky notes and WhatsApp messages.
Established in 2021, Careful has been testing and building its tech platform to enable clinicians to seamlessly capture and update health data and records of patients in hospital care. CAREFUL is a digital health platform that enables visibility, accountability and collaboration as patients move through different care settings and interact with different care-givers. The platform provides hospitals, clinicians and multidisciplinary teams with a constantly updated, holistic view of every patient’s plan of care to ensure their safe and frictionless movement throughout their health journey.
Research from CAREFUL shows a quarter of all doctors and nurses worldwide use spreadsheets to record lists of patients and tasks. A clear view of the status of the hospital — and predicting future flows — is obscured. Staff don’t know what’s happening and nor do the patients. Even in digitally advanced hospitals, critical tasks are regularly lost or forgotten.
“All these headaches can be solved quickly and easily with CAREFUL,” says Dr DJ Hamblin-Brown, Founder & CEO of the company. “CAREFUL is a simple-to-use and easy-to-implement application which helps hospitals communicate internally and also with patients and their families”.
Dr Hamblin-Brown was motivated to build CAREFUL because his mother nearly died from a simple communication failure in a UK hospital. He adds, “Although clinicians take handover very seriously, errors still occur because staff are let down by the systems they are forced to use. With desperate shortages of clinical staff, hospitals need CAREFUL to help save money and save lives.”
The WHO estimates that 15% of all hospital expenditure is wasted on adverse events that happen to patients – and that 80% of these are due to poor handover. This causes serious harm to patients, sometimes with fatal outcomes. Inadequate systems leave staff over-burdened and stressed, leading to resignations and burnout. Errors also cause delays. Beds are taken up by patients who should be discharged. Once at home, the problems continue. No one knows what the next steps are and patients are often lost to follow-up. Together this costs every hospital millions every year.
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Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, Security Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922