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New handheld computer for nurses could improve NHS patient safety

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A new handheld computer, which could improve patient safety, is being trialled by nurses across the NHS in England.

The Panasonic device allows medical staff to access patient records on the ward without having to refer to paper notes.

It could also improve patient safety in the NHS because it can read barcodes on drugs to ensure the right medication is administered at the right time.

Panasonic believes the CF-H1 Toughbook Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) will dramatically cut the number of mistakes made in NHS hospitals every year.

The wireless computer was developed with the help of nurses and is currently being trialled at one in three hospital trusts in England.

It is hoped the device could also help cut the risk of spreading infections like MRSA and Clostridium difficile by prompting its user when it needs cleaning.

Barbara Stuttle, the national clinical lead for nursing at NHS Connecting for Health, said: 'Nurses are under increasing pressure to deliver first-rate patient care and with increasing demands on their time they need access to efficient equipment.'

The technology is just one measure of the NHS' aim to create 'paper-free' wards, however, some campaigners have expressed security concerns over keeping patient data electronically.

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