New bedside gadgets will help with care

Nurses at the RLI are to have new hand-held equipment to help improve efficiency.
Nurses at the RLI are to have new hand-held equipment to help improve efficiency.

Nurses at Morecambe Bay NHS Trust hospitals can instantly key in patient observations at the bedside with new hand-held devices.

The Department of Health awarded the trust £1.2m to implement the new technology.

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

This means that a patient’s results and condition will be available to nurses, ward managers, matrons and other key clinical staff in real time, enabling staff to monitor and manage any anomalies or concerns more closely and appropriately.

The information that will be visible to clinicians at a glance also includes details of individual risks, such as falls, dementia, nutrition, pressure areas, early warning scores (an indication of acuity - how poorly a patient is), allowing speedy review by the most appropriate person.

The Trust has just taken delivery of 950 hand-held devices which will be used following roll-out of training.

There will be 14 hand-held devices for use by nurses on every in-patient ward.

Joann Morse, Deputy Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “This is great news for not only the Trust, but also our patients. Taking a patient’s pulse, breathing rates and blood pressure at the right time and being able to involve the right people to take swift action can help to save lives.

“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. This will also save on administration time and let nurses spend more time at the patient’s bedside caring for that patient. Our clinical staff worked closely with our IT team to improve the safety of our patients which is paramount.” Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “This technology will support our goal of reducing patient harm even further through enabling our clinicians to quickly view vital information about how patients are doing. The senior nursing team and I would like to acknowledge and thank the IT / I3 team for their sterling work in making this a reality.”