North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has begun a wide-scale roll-out of decision support, discharge planning and patient flow management software.
The trust went live with the RealTime system in West Cumberland Hospital at the beginning of October, and is now moving to extend its use to more wards in the hospital, and to Cumberland Infirmary.
The system aims to reduce patients’ length of stay by integrating clinical systems and providing staff with automatic targets.
It also provides a real-time dashboard showing information on a patient’s physical location, what stage they are at in their care, and whether there are any issues that could affect their planned discharge.
It has been integrated with the hospital’s iSoft iExpress patient administration system.
RealTime was switched on in West Cumberland’s acute surgical and acute medical wards and is now being extended across the hospital following the successful initial launch.
Deputy director of nursing, Lesley Carruthers, said the system had sped up the process of inpatient assessments and handovers.
“It’s been great, and I take my hat off to the nurses and medics, the trainers, the informatics team and everybody else involved in the rollout. This is a very ambitious change management project and everybody has done such an amazing job.
“Nursing staff have switched from paper to electronic assessment and will extend their use of the system through nursing observations and acuity scores, which is going to release significant time to care.”
Director of IM&T, Mark Thomas, said the system was helping the trust focus on the ‘real work’ of looking after patients.
“We are in an intensive programme of transformation here in North Cumbria and RealTime’s role... is key to its success.
“[It] helps us collaborate on patients’ journeys across numerous levels, services and agencies, ensuring clinical best practice leading to reduced length of stay and numerous other benefits.”
The trust is planning to have the entire West Cumberland Hospital using RealTime before it moves onto implementing the system at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
RealTime Health was named the overall winner in the EHI Awards 2011 in association with BT.
© 2011 EHealth Media.
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