In this new series, Digital Health Age will pick a hospital every month to highlight the advancements and implementations of digital technology within healthcare institutions across the UK.
This month sees Nottingham University NHS Trust (NUH) taking the spot for its use of technology to assist with patient management.
NUH introduced new software to monitor patients in response to the pressures that have been affecting its emergency department over the last year. The Trust had seen its four-hour response aim drop by 10% compared to the previous year. Coupled with increased pressures and with attendance for the emergency department at an average of 550 patients each day, the Trust put in place a plan to improve how patients were being admitted, assessed and discharged from the hospital.
The Trust introduced the e-Obs software which records patient observations and early warning scores (EWS) for acutely ill patients. The software also manages patients’ bed states and digitally tracks ‘red and green’ days in real time.
The software was made by clinical applications developer Nervecentre Software and gives clinical staff patient information, generates clinical alerts and automatically calculates EWS. The Trust state that eObs has also boosted communication within ward teams, letting clinical staff address treatment plans for patients quickly.
A review eObs’ impact on the Trust found that it helped reduce the time staff were spending taking paper notes and spending time in office spaces. It also helped increased the amount of time nurses and doctors were spending with patients.
More so, the software includes a sepsis screening tool that automatically scans patients when e-Obs scans patients. Every day the Trust sees 8,500 electronic observations being recorded every day, and all are automatically scanned for sepsis.
The chance of death from sepsis increases 8% for every hour it remains untreated. Real-time alerts generated by this new software can therefore prevent deterioration and patient deaths.
Paul Volkaerts, CEO, Nervecentre said: “The ability for NUH to ‘turn on’ sepsis screening for nearly 2,000 patients and 6,000 staff in one day demonstrates that the NHS is leading the world in next generation software. In a pager and paper based world, this could only be achieved through months of training and poster campaigns. NUH is well positioned to continue to adopt our innovative, patient safety improvements at a much faster pace than has been seen before in healthcare.”
Dr Mark Simmonds, consultant in Acute and Critical Care Medicine and clinical lead eObs Programme at NUH, said: “eObs has not just revolutionised patient observations but thanks to eHandover, clinical staff now have crucial details about patients in the palm of their hand which is accurate, up-to-date and shared by the whole team.”