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SmartCrowding Announces UK Launch

SmartCrowding announces its UK launch to help address overcrowding in medical facilities. The company also announces the appointment of Ian Lindsay-Watson as Chief Operating Officer to drive strategic growth in the UK and pan-Europe. Following success since its launch in Norway, the Software as a Service (SaaS) solution is now expanding and is currently in discussions regarding pilots with healthcare trusts across the UK and Europe.

Research reveals that when patient capacity levels pass 92.5% the mortality rate in hospitals can increase exponentially and accounts for one-in-seven deaths. SmartCrowding aims to directly address the issue of overcrowding in hospitals. By doing so the solution will also help to; maximise budgets, reduce stress for staff and patients alike, improve medical outcomes, shorten waiting times and ultimately help healthcare professionals to save more lives.

SmartCrowding was founded in 2014 by Øystein Evjen Olsen, previously Chief Medical Officer at Stavanger University Hospital. He wanted to solve the overcrowding issues that his hospital frequently faced – too many patients, not enough empty beds and a shortage of medical staff to cope with increases in patient flow. Øystein developed the solution with Helse Vest – one of Norway’s biggest healthcare groups. Hospitals across the region have reported the benefits of using the software.

“We have reduced Accident and Emergency waiting times by over 50% in our first year of using SmartCrowding.” Aslaug Skauen, Head of Emergency Department*, Stavanger University Hospital.

SmartCrowding is suitable for any ward scenario in all medical settings where patient flow and bed capacity is of critical importance. The solution is highly applicable to high-pressureenvironments such as A&E, maternity and psychiatric wards. The solution predicts bottlenecks and helps staff to avoid them by using up-to-date information on the volume of activity and resource utilisation. This enables nursing staff to make intelligent projections and decisions for the management of any situation, with the aim of mitigating overcrowding and the impact that has on providing efficient treatment and patient care.

Øystein Evjen Olsen, Chief Innovation Officer of SmartCrowding, explains why reducing occupancy levels will be more crucial than ever, “It’s a known fact that the Covid-19 crisis has reduced numbers attending A&E wards and not in a positive way. People have been trying to deal with major incidents themselves, for fear of contracting the virus in their local healthcare facility. This trend of quieter emergency departments will not last forever. Covid-19, and any successors, will either become part of life for the foreseeable future, or with any luck, disappear. One fact remains; emergency departments will not only be back at capacity soon, they will also be exceeding it. Now is the time for healthcare management trusts to make solid plans for the future to protect their capacity. We must be better prepared to treat the volume of patients who will soon once again flow through our hospitals.”

Ian Lindsay-Watson, COO of SmartCrowding, says, “Live monitoring, tracking and decision-making tools are not present in many hospitals. Instead, wall charts, spreadsheets and sticky notes are found in medical settings. It is time for our healthcare trusts to benefit from the power of data modelling. Our solution provides transparency and enables bed managers to make better informed decisions. There are other benefits including reduced stress to patients, relatives and staff, along with operational efficiencies and cost savings too. It is a win-win for everyone.

I am really excited to have joined the business and to help our NHS tackle this critical issue. Everyone in the UK has realised that our health system is world class and we must do all we can to protect it. Overcrowding is one of its biggest threats and this is an issue that can sadly mean the difference between life and death. By using data cleverly we are able to combat this.”

As part of its expansion strategy SmartCrowding will soon introduce full predictive capabilities to its solution. It will utilise data from local events, large gatherings, severe weather patterns, accident reports and more to accurately predict the impact on footfall into emergency wards.