A new interactive Patient Tracker system is making hospital stays safer for patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
The system, which has been developed in-house by a team of both clinical and non-clinical staff, will help reduce potential errors and can get patients out of hospital quicker because it ensures staff can communicate more effectively.
“In the old days we used white boards and paper to capture relevant in-patient information,” explained Clinical Improvement Nurse, Emma Hannan, who was a member of the tracker team.
“If a patient was then transferred from one area or ward to another a verbal handover would be given, but the information on the whiteboard would be wiped off and lost. Now the information transfers with the patient,” she added.
The system allows access to ‘live’ information relating to the patient journey by triaging and prioritising unwell patients. It ensuring patients are seen every day in a timely manner and captures relevant warning indicators, patient alert messages and discharge plans along with patient safety features.
The patient journey information is displayed on a secure screen for all relevant staff to view and can be added to as results, referrals and tests are received. This means that no information is lost and up-to-the-minute notes can transfer with the patient when necessary.
The system has been successfully piloted on the Short Stay Ward at Victoria Hospital and will now be rolled out to other patient areas within Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“Already the information can be called into hand held devices which each nursing team will carry so they can update patient information at the bedside. This means that referrals, ward round information and results can be accessed without staff having to leave the patient’s bedside,” Emma explained.
“The communication between all disciplines, doctors, nurses, physios and other allied health practitioners will improve dramatically with this system. The team have demonstrated how different disciplines can work together to improve patient safety and quality care by embedding excellence and positivity within their roles.”
As well as improving patient safety, the development of the patient tracker has also helped to increase staff morale and reduce stress through better communication and has created an effective multi-disciplinary approach to providing quality care for patients.
Emma said the pilot showed the system not only worked, but was pivotal in the care and management of in-patients. The system will be rolled out across the Trust in the next few months.
The Patient Tracker Team who developed the system, comprised clinicians, Dr Gurkaran Samra and Sister Emma Hannan; and Health Informatics staff Pakho Li, Ross Prestwich and Margaret Stringer.
Emma added: “Special thanks must go to Leanne Macefield, deputy ward manager of the Short Stay Ward who was influential in the successful roll out of the project. We would also like to pass on our heartfelt thanks to the ward staff for welcoming the change and adapting to ensure its success. We also want to thank Natalie Davidson, Directorate Manager AMU/AE, Kristian Heaton, Head of Information Management and Tom Rushworth, Directorate Support Manager for AMU/AE for helping to ensure the right environment for change.”
The system has been shortlisted for an award in the Non-Clinical category of the Trust’s Celebrating Success Awards.