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AI cure for bed blocking can predict hospital stay

Technology that accurately predicts when patients will be ready to leave hospital upon their arrival in A&E is being introduced to solve the NHS bed-blocking crisis.

The artificial intelligence (AI) software analyses data including age, medical conditions and previous hospital stays to estimate how long a patient will need to remain.

Hospital managers can then alert social care services in advance about the date when patients are expected to be discharged, allowing care home beds or community care packages to be prepared.

Nurses said the technology had “revolutionised” their ability to discharge patients on time, meaning people who would otherwise have been stuck in hospital had got home for Christmas.

The new technology, developed by the British AI company Faculty, is being tested at four NHS hospitals in Wales belonging to the Hywel Dda health board. Analysis suggests that the tool will save NHS trusts 3,000 bed days and £1.4 million a year by speeding up discharges, which in turn frees beds for elective procedures such as hip replacements.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 26 December 2022


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