Extracorporeal photopheresis service improvement
The skin tumour unit at one London hospital has been providing extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) treatment since 2012, using an online fully integrated system. This report summarises 9 years of continuous process improvement, which has enabled the team to meet the growing demand for ECP treatments for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) and graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) patients. The unit formed a partnership with a lean-management company to go through the process of evaluation of capacity constraints, design layout and patient scheduling.
Methods: Increased capacity year-on-year and over the 9-year period was calculated based on data collected from records. The authors reviewed the nurse staffing resources allocated for ECP treatments over the same period, and financial value created by the continuous improvement (additional number of treatments multiplied by the national tariff for ECP treatments).
Results: In 2012 the average number of ECP treatments per nurse per week was 11. With the implementation of the new planning tool, and improved working practices, the average number of treatments per nurse per week has more than doubled to 23. Nurse staffing was maintained at 4 nurses per shift to deliver ECP treatments. The unit recorded additional revenue of approximately £3.2 million in 2020 compared with 2012.
Conclusions: The team has successfully increased the capacity of the service to deliver treatments without incurring any additional nursing costs, resulting in more patients with CTCL and GvHD being able to access ECP treatment and a cost benefit for the Trust. The service continues in its mission to grow and provide a superior patient experience.
Paul M Button, Fiona Child, Manda Mootien, Sukran Saglam, Joanne Magsino, and Harwinder Dhanoia Service improvement in a nurse-led clinic for extracorporeal photopheresis. British Journal of Nursing 2021 30:17, S10-S14. Published Online:2 Oct 2021https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2021.30.17.S10.