A landmark £1.2million scheme which sees nursing staff equipped with potentially life saving tablets has been launched at Harrogate District Hospital.
Patientrack technology has replaced paper charts in three hospital wards, and the aim is to roll out the system across 21 in-patient wards in the next six to nine months.
The technology aims to reduce mortality rates, improve patient safety and reduce hospital stays by identifying early warning signs in deteriorating patients.
Paediatric nurse, Robin Pitts who is the clinical project manager for patientrack at the hospital said: “When I started nursing 24 years ago the chart was just a blank sheet of paper at the bottom of the bed, now we have this system which does the calculations for you and advises which staff need to be contacted.”
Nurses carry out patient observations as normal and input the data into a tablet which advices the steps which need to be taken. The next step will be for the tablet to automatically bleep the doctors required.
Mr Pitts added: “At the moment the first thing a nurse has to do when a patient’s condition is deteriorating is to leave the patient’s side to make a call. This way it is automatic.”
Harrogate and Rural District Foundation Trust is one of the first NHS Trusts to take on the system after it received a £600,000 grant from the government’s Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund.
IT project manager Gary Lavell said: “We are early adopters of this technology. The basic aim is that this will reduce mortality rates, we are just four weeks in and we are already seeing the benefits.
“With end of life care the Chaplains have been contacted earlier because of the system. That may seem insignificant, but it is important to patients and their families.”
Patientrack was tested and chosen by doctors at the hospital staff are adapting well to the new technology.
Ward Manager, Stuart Pearson said: “Nursing staff seem to like it is having a positive impact on the ward. Patients are curious, they often ask what it is and want to know how it works.”
Harrogate Hospital’s chief executive, Dr Ros Tolcher, who took them helm in August, has said she will look to adopt new technologies where suitable.
She said: “The medical equipment and techniques we take for granted today were the ground breaking innovations that people were excited about, or afraid of yesterday.
“The NHS needs to keep up to date with technology, it’s about achieving the best outcomes for patients.”