Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) is leading the way in UK healthcare, driven by its commitment to investment in technology and the focus it has placed on its digital transformation strategy.
Serving approximately 400,000 patients each year across parts of Northamptonshire, Buckingham and Leighton Buzzard as well as Milton Keynes, MKUH believes that embedding digital technology and software solutions into the hospital’s operation and management enables it to deliver the highest quality patient care services.
When the MKUH team first met with Boxx Communications in Oct 2019, they were fraught with unreliable internet connectivity, which was hampering the digital transformation plans for the hospital. While they’d migrated to Microsoft365, staff struggled to use the collaboration tools effectively due to lack of bandwidth. Staff experienced constant issues because the connectivity failed to support some of the basic admin functions required to run the hospital, and patients were impacted because they were unable to access the wi-fi.
Boxx, a specialist telephony and internet connectivity provider also based in Milton Keynes, now deliver 15Gbps to the hospital and all internet traffic in and out of the site is across their two diverse carrier connections
What this meant for MK Hospital
The collaborative tools of Microsoft365 are now easily accessible, allowing staff to work flexibly and remotely. Document sharing has reduced the numbers of emails sent and eliminated the problem of having numerous versions of the same document. This has been particularly beneficial for multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) where multiple clinicians work together on more complex treatment plans. MDTs, therefore, work more efficiently and this has a positive impact on the patients they treat.
Staff meetings now take place via Microsoft Teams and attendance has increased due to participants being able to join whether working from home, or indeed at another hospital. Meetings can also be recorded via the tool so attendees can watch back and even refer to again if required.
Hospital staff also use Microsoft Stream, the video platform within Microsoft365 to upload training videos such as how to use items of medical equipment or even how to perform certain procedures. Over 1,000 video consultations have taken place, which also has a positive environmental impact Additionally, 4,000 devices now connect to the public wi-fi service every 24 hrs and wi-fi calling in areas of the hospital where mobile signal doesn’t reach proved vital during the pandemic for staff and patients alike.
Ollie Chandler, Head of IT Technical Services at MKUH said: “Data is required by everyone and in all places in a hospital environment and accessing this data quickly and easily in a safe and reliable manner is essential.
“Colleagues can now access a plethora of online tools to learn, collaborate and share with fellow hospital staff and surrounding health and care organisations. This helps to ensure vital patient information, up-to-date guidance and polices, and best practice are instantly and securely shared, which hugely benefits patient care.
“For patients, the network means that we can now offer them hospital services in the comfort of their own home, with virtual clinics and video consultations where it is clinically appropriate. This is a massive step forward in improving access to care. Alongside this, the experience of patients and visitors on site has improved too, with a wider choice of the latest entertainment and streaming services, which makes a big difference to patients and their friends and families at what can be a very stressful time.”
Additionally, this year the hospital launched access to primary care records within its electronic health record system. This means that clinicians can now access (where appropriate) patient records from GP surgeries as well as prescription information across Milton Keynes, ensuring efficient and effective access to the right data at the right time. This feature is now available in reverse so GPs in MK can access information from the hospital too – a great step forward for healthcare providers and ultimately the residents of Milton Keynes and surrounding areas.
Even more recently, MKUH has become one of the first hospitals in the UK to enable patients to view their own consolidated health care records directly within the Health app on their iPhone.
Craig York, Chief Technology Officer at MKUH, spoke of this latest digital achievement, launched in October, saying:
“This is a great example of our commitment to a digital first, person-centred, approach to data.” This clearly demonstrates how the hospital’s digital transformation roadmap is positioning it ahead of the game.
Boxx Communications Ltd is an independent telephony and internet connectivity supplier with an aim to simplify telecommunications for businesses large and small. For more information visit www.boxxcomms.co.uk.