Kindocoin Innovation Challenge
Creating Digitally Connected Communities Focusing on Avoiding Delayed Discharges from Hospital
On 11th April 2022, HISES launched Phase 2 of our Kindocoin Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), having selected 2 companies to take forward their ideas to develop a product that would add benefit to the discharge process and help to alleviate the delayed discharge problems that the NHS are facing using volunteers to assist with this issue. The project anticipates that services can be linked up digitally and in real time, allowing for a quicker discharge time for patients who do not have friends or family that are able to help them return home.
In Phase 2, the challenge focus remained on enabling the creation of strong, supportive, valued and digitally connected communities. The issue of delayed discharges is a very major issue for Health and Social Care service providers in Scotland, with less complex delays often occurring due to a lack of availability of transport and/or of nearby family or friends’ support. Many of these issues could be addressed through the co-ordination and timely availability of locally based organisations – who have been authenticated as being safe and reliable in performing this support role.
Utilising an innovative technology-based solution would help link statutory services to the numerous third sector organisations currently providing services in our communities. We are currently working within an Edinburgh that has a vibrant and flourishing voluntary sector, however many statutory services remain ill-informed about what connecting support is available. A digital solution, co-produced and co-designed with third sector organisations would be a welcome tool in helping to ensure that people receive the support they need to return home or to the place they call home.
Phase 1 aimed to develop a feasible solution that will enable people awaiting discharge from hospital but are prevented from doing this due to the lack of someone (a friend /relative, care provider) being available, to then be securely connected with a registered volunteer who with their approval will be available to support them in safely getting settled back in their home.
In Phase 2, the challenge focus remains on enabling the creation of strong supportive, valued and digitally connected communities, utilising the enablement of people getting home sooner following a hospital stay as the test case scenario to evaluate the prototype solution.
Clinical Lead for the Challenge
The Clinical Lead for this innovation challenge is Dr Larry Hayward, Associate Medical Director for Cancer Services and Oncology Consultant at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh – and the originator of the idea.
This project is underpinned by cutting edge technologies developed by Science & Engineering Applications Ltd that form an advanced electronic patient record system (CHAI) that lets organisations control their own data whilst digitally connecting with others.
NHS staff will perform their discharge process digitally, prompted within CHAI to evaluate whether support from either Social Services or Volunteer Services is needed. If so, CHAI will automatically request support from the relevant organisation. This request (e.g. collection of medication for a patient) is picked up by that organisation, who can view the information and assign the support request to individuals. Those individuals can login to CHAI using their organisation’s single sign-on, view the details necessary to complete the request and update the organisation that made the request with their progress. This two-way digital dialogue is critical for the delivery of timely support.
Volunteers will be managed through a Volunteer Management System integrated with CHAI, allowing the verification of volunteer credentials (e.g. up-to-date checks and training in place to perform a given task). This gives the NHS and Social Services peace of mind that data is only being shared with the valid volunteers.
Following this project, CHAI will be ready for rollout across Scotland. It will enable organisations to work together to get hospital patients home as quickly and as safely as possible whilst freeing up beds for those in need.
During the project, Uppertunity will explore expert methods of supporting volunteers with the development of a Volunteer Passport & Wellbeing Monitoring Tool. This is a highly innovative tool that is recognised as essential for developing a sustainable wellbeing economy.
The Wellbeing Hub is a volunteer-powered community care web solution. It enables volunteer managers to safely direct support and care to discharged patients. The Hub intends to reduce delayed discharge and readmissions by increasing people’s ability to self-manage or manage with volunteer support.
The Hub integrates technologies in an innovative way, with safe data sharing that facilitates the partnering of volunteers and volunteer-led services. This allows patients to build a trusted and sustainable network of support.
Phase 1 demonstrated the administrative burden placed on volunteer managers, we know it is difficult for volunteer-led services to be responsive and to provide a scalable service. The Hub reduces that burden by managing complicated and sensitive data sharing and facilitating patient support via safer volunteer management practices.
We intend to link patients to third sector providers using our OpenReferral enabled service aggregator. Our data sharing features ensure front-line staff can find suitable services and have confidence that only appropriate information is shared.
Patient outcomes linked to voluntary service intervention have been difficult to quantify. Using advanced data science, we will provide a new dimension of insight into the impact volunteers have on patients and their long-term outcomes. The Hub will provide new clinical insight and develop the case for community-based, volunteer-supported care.
The expected outcome of Phase 2 should provide a digital mechanism to augment and complement discharge procedures currently in place within Edinburgh hospital settings. This should be achieved by digitising current processes and developing a system that will provide reliable, accurate and rapid access to information and support.
The system should be developed to provide front line staff with timely access to discharge support for patients in their care, including:
- Search functionality e.g., filtering by locality; support required; or patient need
- Information on available organisation and what can be provided
- Simple request forms
- Progress updates straight to device
- Provides options to record volunteering contributions, for example type and number, and reports summarising contribution if an individual or organisation requests this.
- Demonstrate the capacity to deploy via personal devices and/or existing digital systems in the third sector, Health or Social Care settings.
- Be a solution affordable for commissioning by the public and third sector. In support of this, the assessors will be keen to see the planned business model that will allow access to the solution by the public sector and others (charities, other organisations). At this stage there is NOT the intention that the solution will offer open access to individual volunteers or patients. Rather it will be utilised by health and social care organisations in partnership with third sector partners (volunteering organisations etc) to coordinate and manage the support needed as quickly as possible to enable timely discharge home with minimal delays.
- The functionality to track individual volunteer contributions is required, either anonymised or individualised at volunteer’s request, categorised by the nature of the request for support and measured by the time committed by the volunteer. However, third sector organisations and/or volunteers will retain the option of opting in or out of this process.
- Be a solution that can ensure compliance with all the relevant Governance and Regulatory Requirements.
- Be a commercially viable solution for adoption locally, nationally, and globally.
SBRI Key Dates
Work on phase 2 began on 11th April 2022 and due to finish on the 10th April 2023. End reports for Phase 2 are expected before 21st April 2023.
This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Scottish Enterprise via the Can Do Innovation Fund and hosted by Health Innovation South East Scotland.