Ophthalmology typically records the highest levels of attendances for specialist outpatient treatments with figures reaching 5.5 million visits for 2020-21. During the COVID pandemic patients missed standard check-ups and examinations creating a significant backlog of appointments. To expand capacity Moorfields Eye Hospital tested pop-up eye clinics in decentralised easy to access locations as an alternative to traditional appointments in a central London hospital to increase patient flow through these services. Since 2021 we have been conducted several research projects with colleagues at Moorfields to analyse patient flow.
One aspect of the project I have really enjoyed has been the creative development of the research. Back in early 2021 the project started with a conversation with the Moorfields clinical lead on the project on how we could sense the environment to understand how it was being used. My undergraduate degree was in manufacturing engineering and I have worked in both automotive factory environments and retail supply chains - both of which are driven by data. I made lots of incorrect assumptions about how much the clinic environment was monitored to understand how it worked. As a result the project has been a creative exploration of how we can integrate sensed data into the operation of the clinics to inform decision desicions on clinic layout and patient process flow.
The project has just been published as a short article in the Bartlett Review
More information is also available at:
- paper on the patient flow data through the clinic
- paper on discrete event simulation work done
- paper on the need for innovation in the healthcare spatial design
- the Connected Environments project page
We used a combination of systems with the main data collector coming from a Ubisense UWB system with additional information being captured from devices created at UCL including COACH a Connected Occupancy and Clinic Health sensor. Work continues and current progress can be observed on GitHub
More Moorfield pics are continually added on Flickr: