Summarised, verified and accessible: Improving clinical information management for potential haematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Felicity May
  • Jennifer Pepperall
  • Elaine Davies
  • Sarah Dyer
  • Margaret Tracey Rees


The Welsh Transplantation and Immunogenetics Laboratory (WTAIL) is responsible for managing patient work-up for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the only potentially curative option for many haematological and non-haematological conditions. Work-up requires regular communication between WTAIL and the transplanting clinicians, facilitated by weekly multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings, to agree decisions and proceed through each work-up stage. Effective communication and minimising error are critical, as transplanting cells from a suboptimal donor could have severe or fatal consequences for the patient. We reviewed our HSCT patient management and identified issues including staff dissatisfaction with the inefficiency of the current (paper-based) system and concern about the potential for incidents caused by errors in manual transcription of patient information and tracking clinical decisions. Another driver for change was the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented the usual face-to-face MDT meetings in which staff would show clinicians the paper records and reports; the shift to online MDT required new ways of sharing data. In this project we developed a new central reference point for our patient management data along with electronic patient summary sheets, designed with an eye to improving safety and efficiency. Over several improvement cycles we tested and refined the summary sheets with staff and clinicians and experimented with videoconferencing to facilitate data sharing. We conducted interviews with staff from which we concluded that the new process successfully reduced transcription and duplication and improved communication with the clinicians during the pandemic. Despite an increase in workload due to build-up of active patient work-up cases during the pandemic, staff reported that the new summaries enabled them to cope well. A key initiative was creation of a ‘Task and Finish’ group that helped establish continual improvement culture and identified additional areas for improvement which have been followed up in further improvement projects.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001605
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open Quality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2021