Irish software Smartlist aims to reduce hospital waiting lists by 25pc

27 Sep 2021

Dr Ruth Barnes of Vitro Software and Martina Skelly of YellowSchedule. Image: Paul Sherwood

Irish software companies YellowSchedule and Vitro have created Smartlist to help hospital staff manage waiting lists.

Two Irish health-tech companies are working on a clinical management software platform that could reduce hospital waiting lists in Ireland by 25pc.

More than 900,000 people are on waiting lists in Ireland, an increase of almost 124,000 since August 2019, according to data from the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

Dublin tech company Vitro Software and Limerick-based appointment scheduling platform YellowSchedule have teamed up to create a platform called Smartlist that aims to help hospital staff manage appointments more efficiently.

It is an end-to-end management system that categorises patients based on clinical priority and identifies those who can be cared for quicker. It also enhances communication between the hospital and patients with the aim of reducing waiting list anxiety.

The companies claimed that Smartlist could reduce waiting list numbers by an estimated 25pc, cut no-show appointments by more than half and boost administrative overhead cost savings by 75pc.

“Ireland’s already significant waiting lists have been further increased by Covid-19 and then subsequently by the cyberattack earlier this year,” YellowSchedule CEO Martina Skelly said. “The number of people waiting for an appointment and the length of time they are waiting continues to increase.”

She added, however, that Ireland has a history of producing world-class healthcare software and that Smartlist could help tackle the issue of waiting lists.

Dr Ruth Barnes, director of commercial operations at Vitro Software, said that Smarlist puts patients at the heart of its design with the aim of avoiding delayed diagnosis and the deterioration of existing conditions.

“We are using our international experience as a provider of hospital digital medical records and speciality solutions for breast screening and mental health to provide a software solution to the waiting list challenges Ireland faces,” she said.

“We feel that by Vitro Software working together with YellowSchedule, who are experts in their field, will provide a long-term solution for the waiting list challenges.”

In October last year, YellowSchedule launched a new scheduling system at the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital in Cork to help visitors return following initial Covid-19 restrictions. The Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) Health Innovations award winner teamed up with HIHI to pilot a similar system for other hospitals.

Vitro is a big player in the clinical software space, with its tech being used by healthcare organisations around the world. In 2017, The Nairobi Hospital signed a multimillion-euro contract with Vitro to use its clinical management software and services on tablet computers and other mobile devices.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic