Connecting digital systems and relevant, secure information is essential for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) organizations to provide safe care to patients, especially among young, vulnerable patients. Manually checking for safeguarding concerns can be time consuming, and information can quickly become out of date, increasing the risk of missing vital child protection information.
As of 2017, the NHS Child Protection - Information Sharing (CP-IS) service allows for information to be shared across organizations to give a complete picture of a young person's interactions with health and social care services.
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) is the first Cerner Trust in England to use the CP-IS functionality within its Cerner Millennium® electronic health record, and its staff already sees the benefits.
Previously, SASH staff would query for protection information manually, leaving room for error; and they estimate it took about 45 seconds to conduct each search.1 Cerner Millennium now automates those searches and returns protection information quickly — saving time and providing more robust patient safety.
Across a single week 2, 609 people under the age of 19 were automatically queried by the system,3 which lead SASH staff to experience an estimated time savings of nearly seven hours and 36 minutes when compared to their previous manual process — time that can now be directed into care.
In addition, SASH receives information for unborn children where protection information exists. This was not always guaranteed under the manual process and means appropriate measures can be put in place to safeguard these children where required.
“Now the information is linked, we know that 100 percent of children will have been automatically checked on arrival,4 even in our busy Accident and Emergency,” said Named Nurse for Safeguarding Children Sally Stimpson. “All staff can clearly see on the child’s electronic record if there is further safeguarding information available.”
She added that she is delighted about the assurance that CP-IS provides and that the hospital has also experienced “a significant increase in contact from social workers enquiring about children as they have received notification of their attendance.”
For more information on the benefits of CP-IS, click here.
1 Estimate is based on personal observations from the staff at SASH prior to the transition to automatic feature.
2 From 28 September at midnight to 5 October 2017 at midnight.
3 The NHS CP-IS service returns plans for children aged 18 plus 365 days.
4 Every patient admitted to the hospital is automatically queried in Cerner Millennium.