Aim To improve the patient experience for anyone diagnosed with cancer or a life limiting illness who has been referred to the hospice for lymphoedema treatment.
To provide a more personalised, responsive service, allowing patients a more appropriate appointment in their preferred clinic location to reassure them and provide education at an earlier time point.
Description The team developed a bespoke triage process and improved the patient experience by mapping the existing lymphoedema service referral process and developing clear aims, objectives and key performance indicators.
A new process and criteria was designed, tested, implemented and evaluated with the aim of improving the response of the first contact. We provide patients with an earlier opportunity to access other hospice services to improve their whole experience.
All referrals are triaged by a lymphoedema specialist by telephone within one week of receiving the referral and a bespoke template is then used to identify the level of need and to determine the priority of care required.
Evaluation The results have shown this change in service delivery has dramatically improved the process of referrals and has had a positive benefit to the patient and carer experience by addressing all forms of physical and emotional distress as demonstrated in our Service Quality Health Survey.
This has reduced the number of inappropriate referrals and the team has been able to signpost patients to other hospice services in a more timely way, thereby reducing waiting time, multiple telephone contacts and unnecessary visits and enabling a more personalised and responsive service.
It has led to an improvement in patients’ knowledge and understanding of their condition, empowering them to commence basic treatment prior to the first appointment.
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