Julie Plant, senior matron for children’s services at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, describes its journey towards a paperless case management system for children and young people
At Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust our 0-19 service provides services including health visiting, school nursing, and the Partnering Families Team (PFT) for pregnant women, children, and young people and their families.
Clinically, the services are provided by qualified health visitors, school nurses, and midwives, and are supported by a range of clinical and clerical colleagues.
Understanding the power of next-generation technology has challenged our thinking and we’ve been able to recognise how technology can best support us
The trust is developing innovative models of working with families and partner agencies to offer high-quality care to achieve positive outcomes for families in Wolverhampton.
And as part of the new 0-19 service model, the focus is to continue to improve the safety and quality of the service, and most recently this focus has been on our case management approach which was 100% paper-based.
We’ve now successfully made a clean break from using paper records through making the whole process digital, and bringing it in line with NHS Long-Term Plan.
Paper-based forms and loose paper created problems for our team on a daily basis, and affected areas, such as the time we had, the quality of data, and, ultimately, the overall efficiency of the 0-19 service.
Understanding the power of next-generation technology has challenged our thinking and we’ve been able to recognise how technology can best support us. And moving to a cloud-based digital case management system has helped us respond to the changing environment and update the way in which we deliver the service.
We went from contract signature to live in less than six months, with case management system ECLIPSE from OLM, and worked very closely with OLM to co-produce new forms and processes to create a system that was designed for us, with us.
In fact, healthcare professionals across the 0-19 team were involved in the development of ECLIPSE.
The change in our working processes is phenomenal, and being able to ditch paper has been an enormous step forward
They put forward ideas and suggestions to tailor the direction of development and help create a solution that worked for the team using it on a day-to-day basis.
The change in our working processes is phenomenal, and being able to ditch paper has been an enormous step forward.
We now have a holistic view of the children and young people using our service at the click of a button.
And we no longer need to dig out manual records stored in multiple locations, with the team able to access any record from a mobile device at any location.
Having remote access allows our team to not be confined to the office, and instead they can update individual records while in front of the service users or, indeed, from any location.
This means that the data is more accurate and up-to-date, so multi-agency users, who each have a unique login and personal screen based on their tasks and workflows, are assured that they have the most-current information.
We’ve also found that it has an impact on the quality of information because the likelihood of duplication or error has been greatly reduced.
One of the key improvements, though, is time savings.
By using new digital forms and new ways of working, we have secured efficiencies of up to 70 hours a day across the team.
This equates to an additional 350 appointments each week which can now be completed, as well as reducing the number of miles travelled each day by up to 480.
We’ve also ensured that it’s easily adaptable and we’re able to customise the system quickly and easily ourselves, allowing us to keep up with changes in legislation or best practice.
Having remote access allows our team to not be confined to the office, and instead they can update individual records while in front of the service users or, indeed, from any location
The extent of these benefits have far exceeded our initial expectations, and we are confident that we can continue to secure further benefits.
It is now just over nine months since our ECLIPSE system went live and the project is continuing to expand as our plan is to open it up to a further 170 healthcare professionals before the end of the year.
Making a clean break from manual, paper-based case management demonstrates commitment to our trust’s digital transformation programme and vision for a better future.
Underpinned by an electronic case management system, each child’s contact with our new 0-19 service is now fully trackable, which enables us to focus on good outcomes for individual children and families.