As part of the NHS 111 First programme, the Emergency Department Digital Integration (EDDI) product will enable emergency department slot booking from 111 telephone and online services. This information is for healthcare professionals and NHS support staff who will be using the EDDI product.
During the initial coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, there was a significant drop in the number of patients using emergency departments in England. At the same time, the use of the NHS 111 telephone and online services increased. However, since lockdown has eased, emergency departments have seen their numbers increase again, towards pre-coronavirus levels.
To keep patients safe, we must ensure that:
emergency departments are reserved for emergency patients
patients that do not need to attend an emergency department are directed elsewhere
patients that need to access hospital services go directly to the appropriate department in the hospital and not via the emergency department
NHS 111 makes it easier and safer for patients to get the right advice or treatment when they urgently need it and, increasingly, by being able to book direct appointments or time slots into a service that is right for them.
About the product
From December 2020, the EDDI product will enable NHS 111 providers to give patients a time slot to attend an emergency department.
The system will allow the emergency department to control their capacity and monitor the number of patients arriving at a certain time.
The EDDI product is a web-based platform that can be accessed via any modern web browser. Patient information, including the clinical triage, will be sent via NHS 111 ITK CDA referral messages to the EDDI from 111 telephone and online systems.
How it works
A patient contacts the 111 telephone service or uses NHS 111 online and, following assessment, may be advised to go to an emergency department.
If they need the emergency department, they will be given a time window (two hours, for example) to arrive.
The emergency department staff will know the time slot in which the patient is due to arrive, and will have their health information.
Upon arrival at the emergency department, the patient will be checked in for their treatment.
The strategic direction for appointment booking (using the Care Connect standards) into emergency departments from NHS 111 remains system-to-system integration. This is the optimum solution - it will establish a stable, long-term platform and provide a seamless experience for users.