A Quality Improvement project by CNWL’s Sexual Health Service has successfully increased the number of patients applying cream themselves to treat genital warts rather than coming into the Mortimer Market Centre for cryotherapy treatment.
Cryotherapy treatment requires multiple clinic visits, while self-administered creams work just as well; the project aim was to reduce the numbers of repeat visits by half over a six month period – from an average of 24 to an average of 12 appointments a week at the Mortimer Market Centre. The final reduction was 75 per cent - from 24 to six.
This allowed more staff time for those patients who needed to see someone, while making it more convenient for those who didn’t need to come in.
They came up with a number of change ideas using quality improvement methodology.
- Stop poster aimed at staff
- Developing clear guidelines for staff
- Development of PGDs (Patient Group Directions) for nurses who can prescribe independently under PGDs and avoids delay in time to be prescribed by a doctor. Under PGDs most patients can be managed by nurses without input from a doctor.
- Continue reviewing notes for people who have cryotherapy treatment more than once
- Significantly increased availability of stock for dispensing home treatment creams.
The outcome showed significant impact and that patients were content with home treatment given there were no complaints. Similar changes are to be implemented across the Trust’s sexual health clinics.
Dr Srinivasulu Narayana Specialty Physician at The Mortimer Market Centre said: “We have seen sustained improvement and have implemented similar changes in our next largest clinic in the Trust at Archway centre and seen improvement though not fully evaluated.”