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Modern computers could double community team's patient contact

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Patient contact time can be doubled among frontline community health teams by moving to modern computing systems, researchers have found.

They said this can be achieved by simple changes. For instance a clinician can save an average saving of 10 miles per day by not having to drive to the office to collect daily schedules.

Traditional work practices contain an excessive administrative burden for clinicians, according to the report by the University of Reading, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and communications specialist Skillweb.

It made a number of other recommendations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of community healthcare workers, including real time task update and event monitoring, to avoid manual collection of daily schedules; electronic data capture; access to accurate data in the field; and route planning.

Electronic job scheduling and task management tools can not only reduce the administrative burden, they can also improve team visibility and efficiency as well, said Paul Ridden of Skillweb.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • What nonsense

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  • I don't know who did the research but it would be interesting to see. Information governance is quite rightly restrictive and I wonder how a live feed would work efficiently.
    There is already a sysytem for planning which GP's use related to QOF patients but community nurses do not have a live feed to this without being office based.
    Calander schedules are still done by computer lists it would be fabulous to have a calander list which automatically gives the correct data, however the human element of hospital admissions and death always have a delay time before this information is available. Patients still require a phone call to book an appointment as per patients charter which the tool cannot do. Also Patients often forget to tell you they are seeing the consultant at the hospital and you yet again waste another pre planned visit. I do not believe that caseloads could be doubled and quite agree it seems nonsence

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  • I used to work as community nurse. I was often given work over the telephone and planned my route the night before I sat off. We did not have route planners or Satnavs. It was all about effective time management. In one position I held we were issued with hand held mini laptops upon which we would input details of patient visits and upon returning to base the information would be downloaded onto a computer which would give managers specific information, including no of visits, breakdown of visits, prevention of admission. etc. Many times I sat inputting data late in the evening as I hadn't had time to do it during the day.

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