As we enter the second lockdown of the year, the team at SQ are still working hard to deliver value to the NHS and wider health systems across Europe. It is very much business as usual for us and this is because the overarching goal never changes.
In the last 5 years, the team has really lined up behind the goal of ensuring that everyone has access to a top quality healthcare experience. That is everyone: staff, patients, and in all territories across the globe. This mission has had a really galvanising effect in what has been an incredibly challenging year. With the arrival of the second lockdown, this focus has not diminished. Let me tell you about some of the things the team are working on.
First and foremost, there is the Innovate UK grant award. SQ has been selected to design, build and deliver a patient flow management system which will detect transmission risk within a hospital setting and re-route patients and staff to minimise it. The default solution to dealing with COVID across the hospital network is driven by the current need for people to wait before and during their appointments. Any setting where you need to wait is a problem in a COVID world as it means people are sitting around in close proximity to each other and that doesn’t work!
So the solution: bluntly, fewer patients. This is the mechanism currently used for reducing risk. But the drawback of that is that people are not able to access healthcare in a timely manner and waiting lists continue to increase. But what if people didn’t need to sit and wait? What if they moved smoothly through the hospital on a path that was safe and predetermined and staff could do the same? Rather than reducing the number of patients getting help, we design the flow of people to ensure they do not face unsafe interactions. This is possible and the SQ team are making it so. A fantastic opportunity to not only transform the fortunes of healthcare in a pandemic but also to transform the experience in the long term.
The team have also had the opportunity to access hospitals during this period and collect data on staff and patient experiences using advanced positioning technologies. This has been possible in some less affected overseas health services and we continue to deliver strong efficiency and capacity improvements which result in more patients being seen in less time. In a recent Spanish hospital we reduced the average amount of time a patient spent in the service by 41% after the changes the service made using our data and insights, it is easy to see in this climate how such an improvement could be critical to reducing transmission. We continue to work with Hospitals across Europe to deliver improvements, help with COVID-19 and advance the experience for both patients and staff.
It is a privilege for us to work as a team in this climate and still be able to stay true to the goal we set ourselves at the outset.