Proposed acquisition of EMIS Group

Reducing mental health waiting times

27 Mar 2019

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has cut the waiting time for a first appointment from one year to an average of just six weeks by using EMIS Web.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is using EMIS Web for electronic capacity planning and booking for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). One hundred and twenty (whole time equivalent) clinicians care for 4,800 CAMHS patients.

Data analysis via the EMIS Web clinical system has enabled IT experts to check demand and plan capacity 13 weeks in advance. The system’s electronic appointment book can be scanned instantly for spare slots, and quickly filled. The same numbers of clinicians are now offering 1,000 more appointments a month than in 2014, when the health board used paper records.

The same numbers of clinicians are now offering 1,000 more appointments a month

“We now have a wealth of information at our fingertips that has enabled us to plan ahead and use our clinicians’ time more effectively,” said Scott Wilson, senior information analyst.

“Before EMIS Web, the only way we could gather data was through manual searches, which took hours. We had paper diaries for individual clinicians, with no formal capacity planning.

“Now we can gather data in minutes, and appointment booking is much quicker. If someone phones up to change an appointment it is much easier to do that, and offer their slot to another patient. It means patients are being seen more quickly, and clinicians are offering better care to more young people. Informatics staff who used to spend their time counting are now analysing and supporting planning.” 

The health board is also using data analysis via EMIS Web to look at DNA (‘did not attend’) patterns for local populations to see how they can work with families to cut missed appointments. Electronic data analysis has also enabled them to produce performance data for service managers within minutes, rather than it taking half a day via manual searches.

Scott Wilson and Karen Lamb, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde