UK-based Nottingham University Hospital and engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash has showed that engineering modelling techniques can be used to provide insight into a patient’s day in a renal unit.

The understanding of an individual’s dialysis day will help to identify tangible ways to improve the overall patient experience.

Frazer-Nash developed a methodology and software tool, which showed that renal care process within the study scope can be improved through modifying appointment times and management practices.

"The model is said to track the individual patient pathway through their renal treatment, including transportation from and to their home."

This is one of the 14 projects supported by the Department of Health and managed by the National Institute for Health Research Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC).

Frazer-Nash business manager Martin Concannon said: "At Frazer-Nash we used a ‘systems approach’ to develop a model of the renal care pathway, enabling us to pinpoint delays in the service and identify ways to improve the patient experience.

"The techniques we used were similar to those we apply in other safety critical and highly regulated industries, where process and behaviours can have a fundamental effect on an outcome."

The model is said to track the individual patient pathway through their renal treatment, including transportation from and to their home.

It offered clinical management with a clearer insight into how the unit operates under normal day to day conditions, demonstrating multiple potential benefits could be achieved.

Some benefits include increased patient contact time, extra time for staff to complete necessary paperwork and improved scheduling of transport.

It also enables a more person centred and integrated approach, as well as optimised changeover time of equipment and better patient scheduling.

With three main sites, Nottingham University Hospital offers services to 2.5 million residents of Nottingham and its surrounding communities.