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Hywel Dda Occupational Therapy takes up to 8 months off audit time thanks to digital innovation

5 May 2022

The Occupational Therapy department at Hywel Dda University Health Board has reduced its annual clinical documentation audit completion time from 6 - 9 months to just 1 thanks to a new digitally automated workflow. 

Developed with the NHS Wales Microsoft 365 Centre of Excellence, a Microsoft innovation hub based in Digital Health and Care Wales, the new auditing workflow uses Teams and SharePoint to make it easier for occupational therapists to complete and return audit surveys, and for the central occupational therapy team to collate and store those surveys securely. 

Previously, up to 250 occupational therapists would fill in paper-based surveys, which were then managed through emails and spreadsheets by a central team. When audit surveys were late, the team would spend time seeking out the information, which delayed the completion of the audit. 

Now, the team maintains all audit information in SharePoint. Automation is used to prompt occupational therapists to enter their audit information online, which means data can be more easily tracked and analysed. If an audit is late, an email reminder is automatically sent. 

Another new feature is a Power BI dashboard, which is automatically updated every 30 minutes with a visual overview of key metrics, including how many audits have been submitted, user information, and audit type. 

Following a successful first audit with the tool, the Centre of Excellence team hopes that it can be adapted for use by other teams with complex audit processes. 

Suzanne Crompton, Occupational Therapy Service Lead, Hywel Dda University Health Board, said, “This new process gives us more time for patient care. Administrative tasks previously took over 1 hour 30 minutes to complete per audit, but now that those processes are automated, we have that time back. The new process is much simpler and easier for everyone involved, and we’re already getting such positive feedback from the team. 

“We’re also benefitting from improved communication and governance. The data provided by the solution gives assurance that self-audit of clinical documentation and learning is taking place three times a year for each clinician.” 

Damian Mayer, Interim Head of the NHS Wales Microsoft 365 Centre of Excellence, said: “Suzanne, together with Elaine Price, Occupational Therapy Administrator, originally brought their audit process challenges to us in one of our Microsoft hackathon events, and we’ve worked together every step of the way to ensure that the audit solution doesn’t just make processes easier to manage, it actively frees up the clinicians’ time to care.  

“It has been a joy for us as a team to see the Occupational Therapy department’s audit challenges solved in real time and collaborate on a solution that has had such a big impact on their way of working. It’s one of many examples of brilliant Microsoft 365 innovation work happening across NHS Wales every day.”  

If you're an NHS Wales colleague with an operational challenge that you think could be solved by Microsoft 365 innovation, sign up to the Digital Champions Network.