Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) has become the first UK trust to deploy an integrated mobile electronic Observations, Handover and Task Management System by providing mobile devices such as ipods or iphones for each of their 4000 clinical staff members.
This unprecedented move means that doctors and nurses at the 1700 bed Trust each have a mobile device to record vital patient observations as well as share key clinical details used for handover. The project has already significantly increased staff communication and has the potential to make substantial patient safety improvements. By putting a device in the pocket of all clinicians, the potential for future developments are very exciting.
The 5 year bespoke project with Nervecentre Software, started with a task management solution for Hospital @ Night, but the addition of handover and eObservations in the past year aims to provide 24/7 continuity of information and optimum staff communication. NUH have now completed the project by deploying Nervecentre to 4000 doctors and nurses. The project includes bespoke observation models that take the needs of specific patient pathways (such as Neurology, Renal and those at the end of life) into account.
Mark Simmonds, Consultant in Acute & Critical Care, Nottingham University Hospitals, said “The fact that the project was clinically driven and clinically led helped in the challenging task of engaging and training thousands of staff. But our deployment strategy of using a new clinical ICT team of practising nurses and doctors was key to our success. Completion of the electronic observations roll-out has been well received by staff and we are beginning to see the improvements in patient safety that drove the initiation of the project”.
The successful roll-out of mobile Electronic Observations to 69 wards includes the children’s hospital and all specialty wards as well as busy admission areas. The roll-out was achieved at an impressive rate of 3 wards per week. So far, since the start of the roll-out, over 700,000 electronic observations have been recorded by staff with 7000 electronic observations now being recorded every day. These impressive figures have now resulted in over 70,000 automatic escalations so far. These automated escalations aim to ensure that deteriorating patients receive rapid clinical intervention by the right clinician, day or night, all without the nurse leaving the patient bedside. Funding for the software and devices was part awarded from the national ‘Safer Wards, Safer Hospitals’ programme.
Paul Volkaerts, Managing Director, Nervecentre Software said “Our partnership with NUH to provide a whole hospital task management platform has been an on-going success that we are very proud of. Their successful project to deploy a mobile device per clinical staff member shows their foresight that mobile technology will revolutionise their clinical processes, enabling NUH to achieve higher levels of quality and efficiency.
Ultimately, it is the patient that reaps the benefits of this innovative solution as they can be reassured that through the combination of the care delivered by highly skilled and experienced hospital staff and the use of mobile technology at the bedside, they will receive the right care, at the right time, by the right clinician.”