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Real world validation

Real world validation is informed by regional and local NHS needs. It seeks to provide the information and evidence needed to enable adoption of the innovation in a variety of settings.

The Oxford AHSN supports real world evaluation of new innovations by identifying where to test them based on local needs and priorities, project managing the process of baseline data collection, protocol creation and implementation.

See below for examples of real world evaluations involving the Oxford AHSN which have had real impact on the local health and care system.

Point of care flu testing in emergency departments

The Oxford AHSN was involved in the implementation of point of care flu testing in the emergency departments in two hospitals at the peak of the busy winter season – the Royal Berkshire in Reading and Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury. After evaluating a different test in each hospital over the winter of 2017/18, the preliminary health economics showed that average lengths of stay were halved, and there was a saving of roughly £200 per patient tested. Using the test in the emergency department enabled quicker treatment decisions and faster patient turnaround, leading to better patient flow and management during a time of intense pressure.

Unique point of care blood test speeds up clinical decision making

A new point of care blood test is being introduced into frontline NHS services after an evaluation at three hospitals showed that it reduced paediatric A&E waiting times and helped clinicians make quicker treatment decisions and get it right first time in 75% of cases involving children with signs of acute infection.

The Horiba Medical automated analyser delivered laboratory quality results on average three hours quicker than traditional lab tests, and saved over £60,000 across the three evaluating hospitals, largely through more efficient use of clinicians’ time.

Wider applications have been identified, and they are now contributing to streamlining diagnostic pathways in the community for frail, elderly patients and in GP urgent care clinics.

More details can be found in the case study here.

Point of care test aids decision-making in patients presenting with acute frailty syndrome

UK ambulance services have been identified as potential beneficiaries of point of care testing (POCT) to guide patient management and care pathways, but there is little published evidence on the uses, benefits and health economics of POCT in pre-hospital settings. The Oxford AHSN, along with eight specialist paramedics based at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, conducted a quality improvement study to look at utilising POCT to aid decision-making in patients aged over 65 presenting to South Central Ambulance Service with acute frailty syndrome.

The project aimed to improve clinician confidence in decision-making when presented with a patient, and to enable the clinician to admit or discharge the patient appropriately. All clinicians involved reported having increased confidence, and their reports were validated by improved discharge on scene and recontact rates. The study also showed a preliminary net saving of £50,159 to the system.

National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI)

The National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI) is made up of 12 exemplar projects for intelligent medical imaging solutions. It is led by the University of Oxford. The Oxford AHSN is working with world-leading experts and clinical partners from NHS trusts across the country to address clinical problems focusing on challenging unmet needs in cancer, heart disease and metabolic health.

The NCIMI has received a £10 million grant from Innovate UK, through the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, with a further £5 million from industry partners within the consortium.

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