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Trailblazing Artificial Intelligence trial helps cut the number of missed appointments

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust has become the first healthcare provider in Europe to use an advanced form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help improve patient care and pathways.

Process mining allows organisations to understand the performance of their processes, revealing bottlenecks and other areas of improvement.

It is predominantly used in the private sector but UHCW will be helping to roll out the technique to other NHS Trusts across the country over the next year.

The Trust received NHS England funding to use the software for an eight-week programme to see if it could cut the DNA (Did Not Attend) rate of patients who miss appointments - and reduced the number from 10 to four per cent.

“We found texting people on day 14 (days before the appointment) was most impactful,” said Dan Hayes, Director of Performance and Informatics.

“This meant they could cancel earlier and we had the opportunity to re-book the appointment. By making a slight adjustment we massively improved performance.

“The AI gives us a far bigger picture of our patient demographics, rather than just booking chronologically.”

Process mining also allows the Trust to look at patients who may be being treated by several specialities and whether their appointments can be grouped together at the same time.

“It will massively improve the patient experience,” added Dan. “Getting patients seen quickly and succinctly improves outcomes.

“Just on the pieces of work we looked at, there was an estimated £2.4 million saving but also a 29 tonne carbon footprint saving because of removing unnecessary commutes for patients.

“We now have funding to use process mining for theatres to see what we can do with processes there, but we still have lots more to go at.”

UHCW have worked on the project with tech giant IBM and data processing company Celonis.

Dan was able to share a progress update when invited to speak in Munich at Celosphere 2023, a two-day conference attended by 3,000 business leaders, IT professionals and process experts.

He added: “The feedback we had was brilliant, people wanted to hear how it is being used in healthcare.

“I’m proud to be helping UHCW lead the way in this field, knowing that our work is having a positive impact on people’s lives.”


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