Hicom’s Twinkle.net enabled real-time management of children’s diabetes


Solution rolled out at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has implemented Twinkle.NET, the web-based paediatric diabetes care management solution, from healthcare IT solutions and services specialist, Hicom.

The trust has nearly 8,000 dedicated members of staff caring for patients around the clock and serves a population of 1.3 million across south west London. Within paediatric services, the hospital is currently looking after 120 children with diabetes aged between two and 19 yrs.

Twinkle.NET has opened up secure anytime, anywhere access to patient records for clinicians, freeing up staff time to deliver optimal patient care, together with time savings in collecting and collating the data for Best Practice Tariff (BPT) funding and the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit.

Prior to the purchase of Twinkle.NET, the trust relied on paper-based patient records that were time-consuming to complete and difficult to share. Nurses also made their own notes on patients, which they carried around with them. This silo approach to managing data was a clinical risk.

“Previously the team was not equipped with the right tools to facilitate the best-practice care possible,” said Dr Bain, consultant paediatrician and senior lecturer at the trust.

“It was often hard to locate the paper records and collecting data was an arduous process.”

Offered on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis, Twinkle.NET is a Mircosoft.NET-based application that includes a comprehensive diabetes-related electronic health record tailored to the needs of paediatric diabetes specialists, as well as administrative and audit tools. The trust learnt of Twinkle.NET through recommendation and case studies from other trusts that were using the service.

After assessing alternative solutions, Twinkle.NET was chosen because the trust found it had the required access to IT support and training, allowed all members of the diabetes team secure access to accurate data at any time, and enabled improved auditing and reporting of procedures.

Dr Bain said: “Once the N3 connection was established Twinkle.NET has been straightforward to install and use, and meets all of the confidentiality and data warehousing policies we have in place. The support and quick response time to queries that Hicom provides has also been invaluable, as we have effectively learned a new way of working with our data.

“Since moving to Twinkle.NET, the paediatric diabetes team has been equipped with the ability to be more efficient and work with more-robust documentation that is easily accessible to all members of the clinical team. The functionalities of Twinkle.NET means we no longer need to chase after records, but instead are able to obtain up-to-date information whenever we need it. We have also found the ability to input pathology results very helpful.

“Twinkle.NET has the added advantage that we are able to monitor our progress towards meeting the criteria of Best Practice Tariff (BPT) quite simply via the system. This not only saves time, but also improves the documentation available to the commissioners to prove we meet the tariff and can reap the benefits of BPT. It also enables robust data collection for the National Paediatric Diabetes audit.”

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By using Twinkle.NET, the trust is able to document its provision of the best care processes for its patients. Dr Bain said: “The purchase and support of Hicom’s Twinkle.NET means, ultimately, the paediatric diabetes service is able to provide better care for our patients and more efficiently.”