Empathic Building pilot helps to shape future delivery of care at MKUH

Milton Keynes University Hospital staff loking at a screen with Empathic Building pilot

Milton Keynes University Hospital writes 7.7.2022:

In March, Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) became the first NHS hospital in the country to partner with digital pioneer Haltian to pilot their Empathic Building Smart Hospital solution, an innovative platform designed to improve productivity and efficiency using data-driven insights.

A pilot is currently taking place within the hospital’s Cancer Centre, with the Empathic Building solution acting as a digital twin of the inpatient ward. The digital twin uses data collected from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors that allows staff to identify and locate essential medical equipment, find colleagues fast when in need of assistance and gain insights around the built environment such as temperature and air quality. Together, real time and historic data is brought together to create a virtual ward with insights displayed in an intuitive staff portal.

Since the pilot was launched, clinical teams have embraced the solution with open arms, praising its transparency and ability to produce and display vital information instantly. Crucially, the data obtained over the last three months has started to produce a digital map of how care is delivered within the building and will be used to investigate how care could be delivered in the future, whether that is inside or outside the walls of the hospital.

The three key themes identified by the team so far are as follows:

  • Improving staff experience: With colleagues now able to locate equipment and each other in real time, this reduces previous frustrations and results in more time released back to care
  • Enhancing patient safety: By mapping processes in real time, the platform is able to alert staff to warning signs around patients and the buildings, making the environment safer
  • Developing future ward design: The insights highlight the importance of overlaying human behaviour with an understanding of the clinical needs of patients to ensure we design the most effective, and safe, environments to facilitate the best possible patient care and experience

Claire Orchard, Head of Digital Innovation at MKUH, said: “Already in such a short period of time, we have been able to visually interrogate the activity within our Cancer Centre. It’s been wonderful to see our clinical teams empowered by this data and use the virtual ward to effectively make changes and come up with new ideas that enhance the care that our patients receive. As the pilot progresses, we’ll be working closely with Haitian and our staff to develop the platform further as we look to expand this solution into other parts of the hospital.”

The pilot of the Empathic Building solution is due to continue over the coming months, with both MKUH and Haltian using the insights to drive innovation, enabling the Trust to make incremental adjustments to ensure the service delivered to patients is the most efficient, and clinically safest, way possible.

The video below shows just one of the features available within the platform, highlighting how staff are able to quickly and efficiently locate the keys to one of our medication cupboards.