15_337_icl_nhs_cc-028_187275_001Imperial has been awarded £75,000 to develop a new software system that could improve how patient feedback is processed and acted on.

A team from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) and Imperial College London has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent health and healthcare charity, to be part of its £1.5 million innovation programme Innovating for Improvement.

The programme is supporting 21 healthcare projects across the UK with the aim of improving healthcare delivery and the way people manage their own care through the redesign of processes, practices and services.

A team of researchers and clinicians will develop new IT software to process patient feedback more effectively and help clinical staff make improvements to the delivery of care.

Currently, ICHT receives almost 20,000 patient comments a month from a range of channels including surveys, forms and correspondence. These comments are recorded and monitored manually, and based on the volume of comments to process, this means that there is less time for teams to make the required changes.

The new IT software will process all anonymised patient feedback and group them into themes in order to better identify and prioritise areas of improvement.    This will help managers focus their efforts on finding solutions to common problems rather than administrative processes.

Stephanie Harrison-White, head of patient experience at ICHT, who is leading the project said:

“We want to listen to our patients and act on their feedback every time. This innovative technology will help transform these comments into meaningful themes that can be used to drive patient-focused quality improvement.”

Eric Mayer, clinical senior lecturer at Imperial College London, added: “This exciting project is bringing together the complementary expertise from the Trust and the College to develop sustainable and better solutions using the huge amounts of data collected in the NHS. This will help us realise the potential of how clinical informatics can be embedded in everyday healthcare to improve the quality and safety of the care we deliver for patient benefit.”