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Morecambe Bay invests in handheld devices for nurses

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Nurses at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust can now instantly upload patient observations direct from a patient bedside to a central hub on the wards.

Handheld devices will allow nurses to record patient observations at the bedside which will then show up automatically on a whiteboard at the nurses’ station.

“The new technology will result in quicker action by nurses if a patient’s condition deteriorates”

Joann Morse

It follows two successful bids to the Department of Health for nursing technology funding, totalling £1.2m.

The trust has just taken delivery of 950 handheld devices, which will be used following roll-out of training. There will be 14 hand-held devices for use by nurses on every inpatient ward.

Joann Morse, the trust’s deputy chief nurse, said it was “great news”.

“The new technology will result in quicker action by nurses if a patient’s condition deteriorates, which will reduce the likelihood of that patient deteriorating further and therefore help to reduce avoidable deaths,” she said.

“This will also save on administration time and let nurses spend more time at the patient’s bedside caring for that patient,” she said. “Our clinical staff worked closely with our IT team to improve the safety of our patients which is paramount.”

Trust executive chief nurse Sue Smith added: “Not so long ago, the trust was rated as having the worst mortality rate in the country for an NHS acute trust.

“Now, just over three years later, following the hard work to improve a number of areas such as record keeping, coding, reviewing incidents and staff levels, we are now the fifth best performing hospital across the 22 North West trusts,” she said.

Ms Smith said the new technology would support the trust’s goal of “reducing patient harm even further through enabling our clinicians to quickly view vital information about how patients are doing”.

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