East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Caradigm collaborate to digitise nursing risk assessments

Published: 21-Oct-2015

Workflow and paper-based nursing risk assessments are digitised as part of the trust’s wider digital agenda

Caradigm has announced the completion of its implementation to digitise East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s nursing risk assessments forms, which is part of workflow and paper-based improvements within the trust’s wider digital agenda, and also supports the hospital in achieving best nursing practices.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust treats over 600,000 patients a year, from the most serious of emergencies to planned operations. After successful implementation and use of the Caradigm Intelligence Platform, and digitisation of East Lancashire Hospital’s pre-operative assessments within its orthopaedic outpatients clinic, the hospital set its sights on digitising, streamlining and making more intuitive seven paper-based nursing risk assessment forms used during patient admissions and throughout their stay in hospital.

The nursing risk assessment forms were introduced to the hospital’s clinical staff through highly-positive user acceptance testing; and all of The trust’s seven nursing risk assessment forms (Waterlow, Falls, MUST, Bedrails, Infection Prevention, Patient Handling & Tissue Viability) are now live across its 36 wards, with 15,000 assessments being completed every month.

Nurses are accessing the electronic assessments via a range of devices such as PCs, mobile devices, on battery carts, and bedside TV screens; and the trust is in the process of testing the software on tablets.

Margaret Taylor, ward manager on the gynecology and breast ward, said: “The previous risk assessment forms required nurses to manually calculate things like BMI and add up the score of the risk assessment. Now, the electronic forms are doing all of this for us and are proving to be a lot quicker to complete than when we were producing written data. I would say up to 50% more.

“With the new system, patients are automatically on our ward information list when we log on and our custom-configured workflows prompt nurses on what needs to be completed for a patient so we manage the ward consistently. Furthermore, explanatory medical information is built into the risk assessment, which is beneficial - especially for newly-qualified nurses. If you consider that my ward alone can carry out as many as 100 risk assessments every week, and that other wards will have similar numbers, the benefits of the new system are evident. I am confident that it will be a highly-valuable addition to the organisation.”

Ian Woodburn, chief nursing information dfficer at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “As part of our wider commitment to the digital agenda, we recognise the hugely-beneficial impact of the right technology in improving efficiency and workflows, driving cultural change, and improving patient care.

“From a strategic perspective, the system will reduce duplication; helping to ensure that the right information is recorded and available to the right person, at the right time, in the right place. This, in turn, will ensure that there is no variation in the data being recorded, and means we can move towards a ‘record once, use many times’ model of data management.”

“As we look forward to a trust-wide rollout, the technology will assist us with local and national auditing and reporting requirements, while the introduction of consistent risk assessments across the organisation will support us in achieving best nursing practice and meet best-practice targets. We aim to realise cost savings in the removal of paper, its storage and transportation. Ultimately, Caradigm’s form implementation is supporting us to successfully deliver quality patient care, which is the key to the success of the digitisation project.”

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust intends to review its care plans and other nursing documentation further with a view to bringing these on to the Caradigm platform. In addition, the trust’s future vision is that data will be integrated and displayed in other systems across the organisation, enabling wider efficiency gains, improved workflows, and the standardisation of data – all of which will ultimately facilitate a greater insight into local population health analytics and care pathways.

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