King’s and Guy’s and St Thomas’ join forces on a new approach to post-operative wound management

London Trusts are working together to deliver a new approach to post-operative wound management and surgical site infection surveillance. The project started earlier this year and clinical teams are now using the new approach across multiple sites. It is saving clinical time and saving patients’ travel time.

The project is a partnership between clinical teams and Islacare, a health technology start-up which has developed the world’s first visual medical record. Visual data is now being used in a more structured way to identify post-operative wound complications and inform clinical decision-making.

When patients are discharged from hospital, they now receive a colour photograph of their surgical wound and bespoke wound care information. Patients are then able to use the Islacare platform to submit images of their surgical site and a wound assessment form at various points in the crucial 30 days following discharge.

It’s exciting to see how valuable this is already to our patients and the care we provide, even though we are at the very earliest stages in this development,” said Melissa Rochon, Quality and Safety Lead for Surveillance at RBH&HH, which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the impact of early detection in preventing surgical site infections and if we can in some instances improve wound healing  using a proactive surgical wound surveillance strategy across our partnership sites.”

Islacare’s platform puts highly innovative technology in the hands of clinicians. This includes using image analysis to prompt users automatically and immediately to retake images which are of low quality and would be unusable for clinical decision making.

The project has already supported more than 1000 patients following their discharge from hospital. It has saved clinical time and an average of 27km of travel per patient. The technology has been readily adopted with 99% of patients opting to use the platform again in the future. This model has the potential to be replicated in many other settings to push forward the consistency and quality of post-operative wound management across the NHS.