Case study: How a new Trauma Board has revolutionised care at Royal Preston Hospital

How the major trauma centre at Royal Preston Hospital has streamlined processes with Bluespier software

Background

The major trauma centre at the Royal Preston Hospital is one of the 22 highly-skilled busy centres in England that specialise in treating patients suffering from major trauma.

Announced in 2012, the then Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, said: “With 22 new trauma centres now opening across England staffed with a full specialist trauma team, we hope to save up to 600 lives a year.”

With highly-pressurised working environments, and even higher expectations, it was crucial for Preston that they had the most efficient and reliable working practices across their departments, with the right software to support them.

The Challenge

From a clinician’s point of view, the ability to send messages to different consultants via the system to ask for specialist opinions, or be updated with any issues before continuing treatment, has made our lives much easier

The trauma and orthopaedics department at the hospital wanted an all–in–one system providing high-quality information and support, which also had the potential to be rolled out across multiple disciplines and departments within the major trauma centre. From scheduling and managing patients, to monitoring and reporting outcomes, they needed a streamlined process to ensure efficient working and impeccable patient care in a highly-pressurised and fast-paced trauma environment.

The software also had to be reliable and come with round-the-clock technical and customer support, as the centre could not run the risk of serious technical disruption.

The solution

It was clear from the outset that the needs of the department were two-fold:

  • Frontline care: A clear and visual way of scheduling and keeping track of patients in the trauma ward or through their pathway of care
  • Back-end management: A system that had the ability to produce accurate reporting for outcome measures and concise automatic coding

Having evaluated the needs, Bluespier worked in partnership with the hospital to implement the highly-streamlined electronic Trauma Board.

The Trauma Board provides a visual grouping of patients, regardless of their location, allowing staff to efficiently manage their treatment, update patient notes and change patient statuses at a click of a mouse. Patients moving location, including those under the care of other departments, no longer run the risk of being lost and remain visible to all the staff involved in their treatment.

From admission, through X-rays, trauma meetings and ward rounds to theatre and beyond, all patient information is available in real time in a central location, easily accessible remotely by approved clinicians from any computer in the network

The board also operates on a visual traffic light system, clearly identifying and monitoring target treatment times and high-priority patients for consultants. At Preston, this has helped to revolutionise timetabling, the allocation of theatres, and the management of patient lists, resulting in a well-organised trauma centre and high standards of patient care.

Danny Redfern, trauma and orthopaedic surgeon in the centre, said: “Keeping tabs on our emergency patients used to be nightmarish. We had confusing and competing paper-based lists all of which were perpetually out of sync and out of date with different lists being used for our patients all over the trust. This is now a thing of the past. From admission, through X-rays, trauma meetings and ward rounds to theatre and beyond, all patient information is available in real time in a central location, easily accessible remotely by approved clinicians from any computer in the network.”

“Dispensing with duplication caused by paper records means better communication and less time spent on unnecessary cross checking, as well as safer care for patients. Staff on the trauma wards are seeing the benefits of the system, as any change in status is instantaneously visible across the entire trust.”

He added: “Our administration staff love the scheduling as it’s much more straightforward than our previous system. From a clinician’s point of view, the ability to send messages to different consultants via the system to ask for specialist opinions, or be updated with any issues before continuing treatment, has made our lives much easier. Being able to access the system remotely is also a huge benefit. We can ensure smooth handovers as clinicians start and end their shifts or patients travel through various departments, and we find it easier to make and to communicate multi-disciplinary decisions.”

Reporting

As well as assisting the day-to-day management of patients, the Trauma Board creates efficiencies in reporting processes for trauma and orthopaedics too. As a by-product of the data capture that happens through daily use, the trauma board collects data required for monitoring and reporting, simply and without extra work. Targets are also easier to track and achieve – the traffic light system ensures treatment times are visually clear and patient care is the ultimate focus.

And the potential doesn’t end there. The system is highly configurable, with the opportunity to provide tracking and patient management for other specialties involved with major trauma management, collecting and reporting TARN dataset and generating the rehab prescription, all as part of the normal work routine of clinical staff involved with the care of major trauma patients.

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