Hospital nurses in Southampton will soon be using a new electronic system to record key patient data, which will help reduce errors and improve patient care, according to managers.
The electronic patient acuity system (ePAMS) allows nurses to record patient observations and some assessments without the need for paper charts and can alert staff to potentially worrying results that may require urgent intervention.
“An ePAMS will revolutionise the way our nurses collect, process and present patient information”
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded £876,000 by NHS England from the government’s Nursing Technology Fund to launch the new system, which will be rolled out across the organisation over the next 19 months.
“The implementation of an ePAMS will revolutionise the way our nurses collect, process and present patient information resulting in improved patient care,” said director of nursing Judy Gillow.
As well as providing nurses and doctors with real-time information to help review a patient’s progress, the hope is the system will reduce the risk of errors when writing down readings or information on paper.
The system will automatically calculate “early warning scores” to alert staff about patients who may need immediate intervention to stop their condition getting worse.
“An ePAMS will contribute to the improvement of patient safety and outcomes,” said trust associate medical director Neil Pearce.
“It will help to change the current practice from one where we react to a change in the patient’s conditions to one where we can identify changes much sooner and therefore pro-actively prevent problems from developing.”
The trust’s IT and clinical teams will be working together to implement the system by the end of 2016.
“It will help to change the current practice from one where we react to a change in the patient’s conditions to one where we can identify changes”
The organisation, which is one of the largest acute teaching trusts in England, is currently in the process of identifying a supplier to provide the technology.
The project follows hot on the heels of other innovative schemes. Last year University Hospital Southampton was awarded £1.1m from NHS England to cover half the cost of a new digital monitoring system for critically ill patients.
More recently the trust gained £1.35m to develop a new electronic health records system across the organisation.