The NHS Long Term Plan published on 7 January 2019 sets out an ambition of improvement for the NHS over the next decade. The plan underpins the importance of technology in the future of the service; setting out the critical priorities that will support digital transformation and provide a step change in the way the NHS cares for the public. NELFT has embraced this impetus towards agile working in many key aspects of care.
The staff on mental health and intermediate care inpatient wards complete a number of physical assessments and observations on a regular basis. These observations are recorded on paper, the charts can be unclear and the data can be difficult to read. This was identified during the CQC inspections (published September 2016). Administrative staff at NELFT currently spend a significant amount of time scanning these multiple records into the electronic patient record system.
We are now introducing e-observations software, as part of an intensive programme of IT deployments, designed to benefit patients and improve working practices. All inpatient wards within the London Business Units are due to begin using the software in a rolling programme over the coming months.
Nurses and doctors in NELFT will be using mobile electronic devices to record patient’s observations at the point of care as part of a digital revolution in improving the care of patients. This initiative means that more time can be freed up for patient care.
The software provided by Severelec (RiO e-Observation solution) will be used for recording a patient's vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, temperature and level of consciousness. e-Observation also automatically calculates the national early warning scores (NEWS), proactively warning staff of patients whose condition is deteriorating. It is also a ‘connected’ mode solution which means all information entered at the point of care is stored immediately into the RiO patient record and can be remotely accessed by clinicians.
It is anticipated that the therapeutic observation that is completed as part of care delivery within the mental health service will also be recorded using this software as part of the implementation plan.
Nurses and doctors in NELFT will be using mobile electronic devices to record patient’s observations at the point of care.
Our frailty care pathway lead, Moriam Adekunle, has been leading this piece of work for the London services. Moriam supports e-Observation as a welcome change for the services which will support NELFT in achieving one of the key objectives in the clinical strategy, enabling staff to deliver the ‘Best Care’ to patients. The support from both senior management and our healthcare informatics team has made this ambition a reality.
We will be sharing further updates on e-Observation after the initial launch on Monday 2 September 2019.