The brand new MyPorter system replaced Stepping Hill Hospital's manual processes to manage its portering service
“Introducing MyPorter has empowered our porters to become more involved in the allocation process and how the service works as a whole, and this increased engagement means they are more invested in improving our portering, and working together as a team to achieve our goals. The system means the porters are where they need to be, when they need to be there, and it gives me the information I need in an easy format. The GlobalView Systems’ team have been great, helping us to make the system be what we wanted it to be, and in regular touch to get feedback and see if they can do anything more for us.”
Joseph Ryan, Support Service Manager, Stepping Hill Hospital
Stepping Hill Hospital is an 800 bed hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester. It previously used manual processes to manage its portering service, with wards telephoning the dispatcher at the helpdesk in the Porters’ Lodge when they needed to request a porter. Details of the job were then logged onto an Excel spreadsheet, and the dispatcher would then radio the task through and a porter would respond. Due to patient confidentiality, details of the task couldn’t be broadcast over the radio, and so the porter would need to return to the Lodge to collect hard copy details, before completing the task. The process was vulnerable to human error, and it meant not all patient information was stored securely electronically, with possible associated breach of GDPR. Out of hours, wards would bleep porters direct, but this risked potential delays where a porter was already engaged in another task, risking diminished patient experience and flow. The system also made it difficult for patients with particular needs such as dementia to be identified and their care delivered accordingly.
Real time operation management was challenging as there was no information being recorded to enable bottlenecks to be identified and addressed, and to enable resources to be aligned to particular wards and/or times of day. Reporting departmental performance was extremely challenging without the necessary data.
The hospital sought a solution that could be introduced hospital wide, and that was simple to use but effective in streamlining processes and providing business intelligence. Several supplier solutions were explored, and GV Healthcare’s MyPorter solution chosen. The system task being allocated via radios with smart devices supported by dedicated software which gives real time visibility of porter availability and provides effective task management and reporting functionality.
The user friendly interface means wards can quickly and easily upload tasks, providing all the information required, but without unnecessary detail. Patient information is also more secure as the paper-based element of the process is removed. Each porter can view the dashboard of all current jobs, and can choose to accept them based on location and their availability. The job then moves from the main list into the ‘My tasks’ folder, and the porter can record when the task has been completed.
MyPorter was introduced in stages, with individual departments receiving training before the system was deployed. Even porters unfamiliar with smart phones very quickly got used to operating MyPorter, and have given positive feedback that they have more job satisfaction now they have more control over managing their own work, and feel more valued.
Productivity has also improved, as porters can select jobs nearest to their location without having to return to the Lodge, reducing travel time and enabling faster response times and more jobs to be completed per day.
The system gives real time visibility on porter deployment, as well as the ability to review this over time to enable adjustments to be made if needed. Activity can be viewed graphically, making it easy to identify peaks and troughs. Rotas have been adjusted to coincide porter breaks with low demand where possible, and shift start times altered and staggered to reduce porter downtime. Aligning porter coverage to hospital demand in this way gives more flexibility when planning for annual leave and sickness cover, ultimately resulting in lower overtime costs. Certain wards had dedicated porters 24/7, and their workload could vary from an hour’s downtime to ten jobs being required in an hour. MyPorter has enabled these porters to be deployed throughout the hospital, smoothing their workflow.
Portering duty managers who previously spent much of their time overseeing the deployment of porters now have more capacity to devote to other tasks such as administration and training, as well as spending more time in the wider hospital environment, identifying issues they may otherwise have missed.
The previous system gave basic information such as the number of jobs completed in a day, but MyPorter provides much more insightful performance data, such as length of job, length of time to accept job, highest causes of paused jobs. This not only makes management reporting against KPIs possible, but also gives objective information to help improve patient flow, as well as providing an audit trail that can be interrogated months after the event.
“Before, porters had no sight of the task list, but now we can see the backlog, and work together to prioritise jobs. The system is really easy to use and means we’re more in control of how we work, as well as making job allocation much fairer. It’s definitely raised the morale of the team.”
Matthew Wilson, Portering Duty Manager, Stepping Hill Hospital