David Lawson, Chief Procurement Officer for Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, announces a new partnership that will transform hospital efficiency and drive patient safety improvements across South East London.

Among the countless lessons learned over the past year, maintaining efficiency in hospitals is surely somewhere the top. The demand placed upon acute care service has stretched trusts like never before and hospitals are seeking new and innovative ways to drive efficiency improvements in every corner, all with the aim of improving care and enhancing patient safety.

Medication and medical inventory management then, has taken on profound importance, and I am proud to announce a ground-breaking partnership between Guy’s and St Thomas’ and leading automated medication management and supply solution specialists Omnicell. The aim of this partnership? To transform patient safety through ground-breaking improvements to hospital efficiency.

The project will be defined by innovation. AI and machine learning will be used to build new reporting systems, and live dashboarding and action planning to support patients safety and drive efficiency improvements. This combination of NHS know-how and industry innovation will develop a European technology-enabled inventory optimisation and intelligence service.

Initially, the project will encompass six acute hospital sites within the South East London Integrated Care System (ICS), including Guy’s & St Thomas’, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust.

A three-year plan

We are about to embark on the first year of this three-year development project with Omnicell. Over the course of this journey we will work to develop analytics and reporting tools with a goal of improving patient safety, achieving increased operational efficiency and cost efficiencies. Further, we want to demonstrate the transformational impact of an integrated approach to managing clinical supplies and medicine at scale. This project will culminate in a service model for the ICS which can be scaled up and adopted by other hospital groups in the UK.

While we already use elements of Omnicell’s supply and medication dispensing systems, this expansion means we will have one unified Inventory Management Solution across the ICS. This will include a technology-enabled intelligence centre based at Guy’s & St Thomas’ which will deliver advanced analytics across all the ICS hospitals, providing total visibility in order to improve efficiency and patient safety in the region. This cloud-based system centred on intelligence, automation and technology-enabled services will leverage the latest AI tools to provide us with real time analytic support and system optimisation.

The risk of dispensing errors/never events will be greatly reduced, products will be at the right place at the right time. In addition, having a clear view of usage patterns will provide us with the data we need to make more informed buying decisions which will in turn cut unnecessary costs.  

Redesigning care

It is incredibly exciting to see how this project can positively impact the 1.9 million patients we serve and how they are able to interact with healthcare services in the area. Our collaboration with Omnicell is but one part our ongoing work to re-design care and improve population health through shared leadership and collective action, in partnership with local councils and care and health organisations.

Furthermore, we hope that as a result of developing this technology across these six sites, our thousands of dedicated front-line clinical staff will save time currently spent on logistics and administration tasks, so they are free to focus on face-to-face patient care.  

We are thrilled to be working with likeminded partners who wants to reshape how inventory management systems are viewed in the NHS and wider European market. Our vision is ambitious, and we are hopeful that this partnership will pave the way for expanding technology-enabled services and intelligence solutions in hospitals across Europe. We share a goal of improving healthcare and patient safety and we look forward to working with Omnicell to support our joint vision.

A vision of ambitionSarah Dalmasso, General Manager & Vice-President at Omnicell International.

We are incredibly proud to be working with the South East London ICS on this innovative, forward-thinking project. By combining Omnicell’s advanced technology with six of London’s key, experienced NHS trusts we are hoping to see a real difference in increased levels of patient safety, more efficient management of medication and staff being able to spend more time with patients in person. Particularly during the difficult times we are facing, it has never been more important for us to come together and use our technology to support the NHS in its vital work.

Expanding technology-enabled services and intelligence solutions reflects our ambition to deploy advanced analytic tools to support hospital systems across Europe so we are hugely excited to have been offered this opportunity. This partnership represents the largest deployment of Omnicell’s technology outside the US and we are confident that it will provide the best standard of care for all those patients served by the Integrated Care System across South East London. Our objective to raise the standards of healthcare and patient safety are very much aligned with the ideology and aims of the ICS and as such we look forward to embarking on this partnership to deliver positive transformation to healthcare services.