Transformation Directorate

Electronic pre-operative assessment to reduce staff administration and improve patient experience

Pre-operative assessment (POA) is an important process, ensuring that all patients are fit and ready for elective surgery and helping theatre lists to run quickly and without undue delay. At the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre, a retrospective study found that the patient attendance time (PAT) per POA was 3.2 hours, with 90 minutes of nurse time per appointment. In 2018 this equated to 16,320 hours of PAT and 7,650 hours of clinician time.


Traditionally the POA is paper-based, consisting of a number of different forms and documentation as well as information leaflets informing the patient about their procedure. The administration of the POA process can be time-consuming and resource-demanding.


Streamline the process by introducing a digital solution that can reduce the administrative burden on staff whilst improving the patient experience.

Solution and impact

In 2019, South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre (SWLEOC) introduced LifeBox Health and its electronic (e-) POA solution, allowing data collection from home, resulting in a 60% reduction in face-to-face POA appointments, 9,792 hours of PAT saved and 2,550 hours of outpatient time saved. Since the start of COVID, all POA appointments are now completed virtually with no face-to-face appointments resulting in SWLEOC becoming the fastest recovering elective centre in South West London.

SWLEOC, one of the largest joint replacement centres in Europe, started using LifeBox in summer 2019 and is now gradually rolling it out to all four trusts within its partnership.

Six months into the COVID crisis, and the LifeBox ePOA app is now supporting hospitals as they return to elective surgery. By triaging thousands of patients using the software, waiting lists are being tackled remotely, ensuring patients are ‘surgery-ready’ for when the hospitals are.

  • 3,060 OP appointments avoided
  • Average time saving per patient - 1.92 hours
  • £94,000 savings per 5,000 pts


Interactive - clinicians can access their patient’s assessment, interact actively and ensure advanced preparation for their patient's hospital visit.

Streamlined - detailed patient pre-operative assessment allows early identification of higher-risk patients and prompts appropriate actions.

Multiplatform - the IT behind LifeBox supports multiple devices and browsers.


Performed via a browser on a smartphone, tablet or computer, pre-assessment is enabled at a time and in a place most convenient and comfortable for patients.


Remote completion of pre-assessment.

Key figures/quotes

“This comprehensive pre-assessment tool enables us to see all patient details including their MRSA, blood and COVID test results and it also flags up if there is a need for an anaesthetic review.”
Mary Richardson, managing director of SWLEOC

Find out more

Learn more about Lifebox on their website here

Read more on the Medtech News website

Key contact

Mary Richardson, managing director, SWLEOC