East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust are using robots to assist in the administration of COVID-19 Antibody Tests for all employees.
Since the launch yesterday, ESNEFT bots have processed over 4000 transactions and are removing the administration burden of hospital staff.
So how does this work?
The process is split into three distinct phases.
Employees use Microsoft Teams to submit a test request form and schedule a date and time to visit the clinic to have a blood sample. The key data required to register a test request on the pathology system Sunquest ICE is loaded into a bot queue ready to be processed.
The bots monitor the pending queue and will service all test requests as they appear. The bot will validate the incoming data against a set of criteria, search for the patient on ICE, create a new patient record if one is not found and then book the test. It takes around 10 to 35 seconds for a single transaction to complete depending on system performance and whether a new patient record needs to be created.
Below is a video showing a new request being processed by a bot. Remember, this video has been slowed down so you can see it working.
Periodically, the bot will check if a result has been returned by the labs by maintaining a list of pending orders. If a result is found, the patient is contacted by their preferred method (email or text). The bot also has the ability to receive a data file from lab centre and run a bulk communications exercise.
So there it is - the core build was completed within 48 hours followed by the usual operational tweaks. Multiple bots will handle increased test volumes, and there is no reason why an adapted version couldn't be used for patients in the community.
These processes and objects will be available via the NHS Digital Exchange for FREE!