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Nottingham pioneers use of new technology on wards


30 March, 2015  

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) has become the first UK trust to use a single electronic system to communicate the needs of patients as well as record observations.

This unprecedented move means that more than 4000 doctors and nurses at the 1700 bed trust each have a mobile device to log vital patient information and share key clinical details used for handover.

Up to 3000 staff are now connected at any one time across the QMC, Nottingham Children’s Hospital and City Hospital sites.

Dr Mark Simmonds who is the clinical lead for the project said: “Clinicians now have up-to-the-minute information about their patients at their fingertips, wherever they are in the hospital.

The new system has been introduced in 69 wards including the children’s hospital and speciality wards as well as busy admissions areas. More than 700,000 electronic observations have been recorded on over 20,000 patients since the system was introduced.

The idea was hugely ambitious. We aimed to have a device in the pocket of all clinical staff by March this year. I’m really proud that we’ve not only achieved this, but are already seeing results from better communication”, said Mark.
Beyond the obvious advantages of phone and text messaging, staff are now able to access a variety of medical apps including guidelines at the bedside.

Staff Nurse Clare Townsend, who works on Toghill Ward at City Hospital, is a keen supporter of the new system, which is called ‘E-Obs’.

She said: “When we first got the iPhones we were all worried that patients would think we were texting each other on duty, but people generally understand we’re using them for nursing and to provide better and safer care.”

Electronic observations are in use elsewhere in the UK but NUH is the first trust to deploy a whole hospital platform that integrates observations with handover and task management using mobile devices for each of their 4000 clinical staff.