NHS staff at a North West Trust have been shortlisted for the Patient Safety Awards after utilising an electronic observation system to quickly respond to deteriorating patients.
The Acute Kidney Injury Team at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust are using the Patientrack electronic observations system to tackle a major cause of complications for patients on intravenous fluids and electrolytes.
The team used their clinical expertise to enhance how staff use the system to monitor patients’ fluid balance. The system was already being used at the Trust for bedside observations, to capture patient vital signs, and to deliver electronic early warning scores that allow the sickest patients to be quickly identified.
Now, the new use of the system has resulted in reduced length of stay and mortality which are often associated with poor fluid management in hospitals.
Ragit Varia, consultant in Acute Medicine and clinical director of the Acute Medical Unit at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The implementation of the innovation of eFluid charting has vastly enhanced patient safety. This means we have more accurate charting, calculations and therefore higher quality patient fluid plans, whilst providing an enhanced user experience for bedside data entry and recognition of deterioration.”
By using Patientrack in this new way, the Trust saw a 23% improvement in the fluid and electrolyte disorder indicator that is included within the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio: a national benchmark for patient mortality.
The paperless system has also eliminated calculation errors and reduced acute kidney injury patients’ length of stay of more than two days.
Donald Kennedy, managing director at Patientrack, said: “Providing frontline clinical staff with the means to embed their clinical expertise into the systems they use is absolutely essential for technology to remain relevant and useful in the NHS.
“This is a powerful example of our NHS customers innovating with technology to deliver enhanced patient safety, and it is great to see the work recognised as it is shortlisted in the national Patient Safety Awards, an opportunity to share best practice and to allow more people to learn about the impact of this important project.”