NHS Fife uses Patientrack Early Warning Score track and trigger solution to assist national patient safety targets
London, UK – November 2012 –NHS Fife is to extend its use of a solution from Patientrack from one ward to eight, helping to further improve patient safety. Patientrack’s “always on” active safety and communication system helps clinical staff on wards quickly identity deteriorating patients and support intervention before patients suffer adverse events.
Health Improvement Scotland has set targets for Scottish health boards to reduce patient mortality by 15%, reduce the incidence of adverse events by 30% and help reduce the number of crash calls on wards by 30%.
Ronnie Monaghan, head of eHealth Programmes at NHS Fife explains that the board had already achieved improvements by implementing a paper-based system for using early warning scores (EWS) to identify deteriorating patients, but saw the potential of technology to further enhance its effectiveness. He says, “Patientrack helps us tackle the issue of deteriorating patients in three ways. It helps staff take observations when they are due; it calculates early warning scores automatically from observations recorded electronically at the bedside, so staff don’t have to spend time doing that; and it promotes active intervention when scores indicate that’s needed, through automatic alerting direct to the attending doctor.
Early indications from previous NHS experiences with Patientrack, like the widely reported Manchester Study, suggests these three factors working together are helping the NHS to identify and manage deteriorating patients more effectively.” He adds that Patientrack was chosen, following a review of the market and a competitive tender, because it provides effective support for all three key steps. “Some systems allowed observations and calculations but didn’t support alerting, which we’ve found to be one of the key factors around intervention and improving our ability to tackle deteriorating patients,” he says. “It’s no good just knowing you’ve got a patient with an elevated early warning score. You need to do something about it. That’s why the alerting side of Patientrack is proving so powerful: it sends a message to the nominated clinician that ‘Patient in ward x has a high early warning score >3 and needs attention now.’ If the situation isn’t dealt with quickly, then the alert is escalated to a more senior clinician. That’s exactly what we wanted to help support staff, and what Patientrack provides.”
NHS Fife now plans to roll Patientrack out onto a further six general wards at the Victoria Hospital and to introduce Patientrack into the A&E department. It is also looking to use Patientrack for sepsis assessments and end-of-life alerts and is considering introducing Patientrack into its medical assessment units to support a wider range of similar assessments. In addition, as part of its broader eHealth agenda, NHS Fife intends to integrate Patientrack into its clinical portal, allowing staff to view the electronic charts captured through Patientrack alongside other key patient records.
Notes to editors
About NHS Fife
NHS Fife is one of 14 health boards in Scotland. It serves a population of more than 350,000 and has its main acute hospitals in Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline. It is in the process of completing its General Hospital and Maternity Services Project, a multi-million pound programme to modernise all acute services in the region.
For further information see http://www.nhsfife.org
Patientrack helps hospitals deliver safer care – which is also more cost-effective care – by ensuring observation and assessment protocols are carried out correctly and consistently, and by automatically calculating early warning scores and alerting clinicians when interventions are needed. Through early identification of deteriorating patients, and the promoting of necessary assessments, Patientrack helps hospitals meet national and local targets for improvements in patient safety, improving patient outcomes and supporting frontline staff, while at the same time cutting costs. Patientrack was developed in conjunction with clinicians and nurses and its effectiveness in delivering both patient safety and cost improvements has been proven in a peer-reviewed clinical trial at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Matthew D’Arcy, Highland Marketing on behalf of Patientrack
Phone: +44 (0)1877 339922