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ULS Coimbra

Colorectal surgery: increasing patient safety and teams confidence on discharges

Post-discharge follow-up is the leading approach to prevent 30-days readmissions but it is also a manual, time-consuming process that burdens clinical teams which have no tools to do it efficiently. Discover how UpHill increased CHUC capacity by automating best practices.


Follow-up capacity


patient adherence


red flags identified

Lengthy waiting lists for elective surgery are a daily struggle for patients and a headache for hospital managers. On one hand, they postpone the expected benefits of treatment, while pain and disability remain; on the other hand, delaying the procedures can have a significant impact on a facility’s financial security.
The root causes of surgical waiting times can be attributed to a variety of factors. Most commonly, it is due to a lack of resources, such as insufficient staff - which in addition is overloaded tasks for which they are overqualified for - and equipment. On the other hand inefficiencies and blockers to adequate care navigation are increasing patient no shows and intra-operative cancellations, contributing to increase waiting lists.
With this program, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra (CHUC) addressed two major areas: capacity and patient navigation.

Project Goals

  • Ensure care consistency and support clinical decisions based on the best evidence.
  • Reduce appointments length and the time spent on records within the perioperative journey.
  • Improve clinical records quality by obtaining information directly by the patient.
  • Increase patient adherence to best practices in the perioperative, by centralizing information in a patient portal.
  • Increase teams' confidence and patients' safety on discharge.
  • Improve early identification of red flags after hospital discharge.
  • Reduce the use of hospitals’ resources in the follow-up monitoring.


UpHill's solution on peri-intervention was applied to optimize peri-surgical journeys, both addressing patients and healthcare teams needs.
A dedicated portal was delivered to patients covering all pre and post surgery recommendations in order to reduce anxiety, increase care plan adhesion, improve surgical outcomes and reduce no-shows.
Additionally, all patients were instantiated on a personalized care journey, making their status and progress visible to all health professionals. Automated follow-ups were triggered after discharge in order to keep patients on track and identify red flags timely.

UpHill provided a huge added value, because it allowed us to add two moments to the nursing appointments, enabling our teams to detect more complications.

João Filipe Fernandes

Nurse Director's Advisor

Solution details and highlights

  • Follow-up frequency increase from 2 to 4 checkpoints within the postoperative recovery.
  • Omnichannel approach to obtain patient information, using familiar patient channels (SMS, phone call and email).
  • No invasive medical devices or procedures.
  • Use of validated and automated questionnaires and scores.
  • Intelligent application of the information collected to update patient status.
  • Automatic alert generation to warn health teams on patients’ red flags.
  • Interoperability capabilities linking different systems reducing tasks repetition.
  • Compliant with relevant industry-standard certifications.

Out of more than 200 patients that joined the program, none has had any type of complication that was not flagged through the follow-up questions after discharge.

Manuel Rosete, MD

General Surgery Hospital Assistant

Impact and Insights

  • ~250 patients included in 6 months
  • 100% of readmissions detected
  • 75% of ED admissions during the first 14 postoperative days detected
  • 75% patient adherence
  • 100% alerts solved by nursing teams

To feel that our patients are actually using the system, our health professionals realize that they can save a lot of time, while, we - the IT team - feel that our intervention is minimal, it’s fantastic!

Rui Gomes

Head of Information Systems

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