Access to data helping to deliver the right care in the right place

This article was taken from:

By Tina Hanlon, Nursing Times

There is huge value in giving nurses access to data on what is happening across their ward or organisation.

For a start, it helps them deliver the right care to the right patient at the right time, and so avoids patients being kept in hospital unnecessarily.

Many organisations are investing in software to make this possible. For instance, Cambio is working with a number of providers, including Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS). Previously the trust’s only way of obtaining patient data was contacting all community teams and nurses individually by phone or email,

but information becomes quickly outdated in a process that is time consuming and open to error.

With the technology now connecting organisations across Lincoln, community teams and nurses have real-time access to caseload management; bed capacity; planned availability and acute discharges; and RAG boards, providing an at-a-glance overview of multi-agency capacity.

Being able to access patient data from anywhere on any device and have one version of the truth has saved community nurses time and massively reduced duplication. This new way of working has also had a big impact on patients. Not only are patients discharged earlier from their acute stay – length of stay has been reduced from seven to four and a half weeks – but many are avoiding an admission entirely.

Tina Hanlon is a former nurse and is 
general manager and clinical solutions director, Cambio Healthcare Systems

Putting information at nurses’ fingertips

Following a roundtable last year, Claire Read finds out more about how nurses at Barts Health NHS Trust are using data and technology to improve care

Andrew McGovern is a firm believer in the ability of technology to improve nursing care – but that’s not to say he believes a shiny device is enough to make a difference in and of itself.

“It should be the need to improve patient care that drives the introduction of technology rather than technology for technology’s sake,” argues the senior nurse in quality improvement and development at Barts Health NHS Trust. “It’s got to be in the best interests of the patients and of the team providing the care.”

According to his colleague Louise Hicks, it is a philosophy that is central at the trust – one of the UK’s largest. “What we’re trying to do is enable all our practitioners to engage in technology that enables us to make really good clinical decisions for patients and communicate them rapidly,” she says.

“So it’s really important for us to engage in up-to-date technology and the informatics to enable us to promote harm-free care; to get vital information about observations and escalate that quickly, so we get care where it’s needed and make an impact for example on the deteriorating patient.”

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