Senior nurses at a major London trust that has been piloting the use of vital signs devices say it will now adopt it ”more widely”, after seeing the technology help improve the workload of its nursing staff.
They said Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust had saved around 5,800 hours of nursing time since trialing vital signs monitoring devices that are directly linked to its electronic patient record.
“The next step is to roll out more of the connected bedside monitoring devices”
Staff are using the monitoring devices, which are designed to help eliminate the need for nurses to manually enter patient data, across hundreds of beds to collect clinical observation information.
The devices “capture” physiological measurements at the bedside and automatically transfer crucial information directly to the trust’s electronic patient record system. It is then used to generate a National Early Warning Score (NEWS), providing a risk profile for the deterioration of patients.
Imperial said that by using the new system, staff were both saving time and being alerted more quickly to patients requiring immediate intervention.
The new automated process can reduce the time required to take parameters by up to 50%, with over one minute saved each time a set of observations is taken, it said.
“It has had a real impact on handovers”
Imperial has estimated that 5,800 hours of time have been “released” to direct care since the monitors were first introduced in January 2016.
The trust has so far deployed the Connex monitoring technology – manufactured by Welch Allyn – in 25% of its wards, but said it now intended to deploy the vital signs monitoring devices more widely.
Gerry Bolger, chief nursing Information officer and clinical lead for nursing informatics at Imperial, said: “This is a very exciting development for our hospitals.
“We have seen significant time-releasing benefits so far, and the next step is to roll out more of the connected bedside monitoring devices throughout our hospitals over the coming months,” he said.
Trust to roll out technology saving nurses ‘thousands of hours’
“We also want to look at how the recorded observations, which are able to provide more accurate readings, will be able to assist doctors and nurses towards the early identification and treatment of patients at risk of sepsis,” he said.
Ward manager Katie Pritchard added: “It has had a real impact on handovers. We can see our patients up on the screen, and staff can much more easily examine NEWS scores.”
Imperial College Healthcare is one of the largest NHS trusts in the UK. It runs five hospitals – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea, St Mary’s and the Western Eye.