Connecting digital systems and relevant information is essential for safe care across the population, especially amongst young patients. As a caregiver, you want to ensure you do everything you can to safeguard and protect vulnerable children in, and after, your care. Information is essential for this and research shows care professionals opening conversations at the earliest opportunity can improve outcomes for vulnerable children.1
Manually checking for safeguarding concerns can be time consuming, and information can quickly become out of date, increasing the risk of missing vital child protection information. The NHS ChildProtection - Information Sharing (CP-IS) service now allows for information to be shared across organisations to give a complete picture of a child's interactions with health and social care services. At Cerner, we’ve worked hard to ensure that our Millennium® EHR supports functionality to enable automatic checking of child protection information to help improve safety, allow early intervention, and boost workforce efficiency.2
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) is the first Cerner Trust in England to use this function and is already seeing the benefits. Previously, staff at SASH would query for protection information manually, leaving room for error and requiring a minimum 45 seconds of staff time per search.3 Millennium now automates searches and returns protection information immediately – saving time and providing more robust patient safety.
Across a single week, 609 children under 18 were automatically queried by the system – a time saving of seven hours and 36 minutes over the manual process* - time that can now be directed into care. In addition, SASH now 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.
Sally Stimpson, Named Nurse for Safeguarding Children at SASH, is delighted about the assurance that CP-IS now provides, commenting: “Now the information is linked, we know that 100 percent of children will have been automatically checked on arrival, even in our busy A&E, and all staff can clearly see on the child’s electronic record if there is further safeguarding information available.”
She adds 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”.
3. Based on manual observations at SASH
* Measurements taken during a one-week period from 28 Sept and 5 October 2017.
Cerner disclaimer: Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realised by all clients due to many variables, including solutions scope, client capabilities and business and implementation strategies.