A positive, safe experience relies on the care team having time with patients, and the right information being available at the point-of-care throughout the patient’s journey.
Nurses’ time is precious, and, with pressures of demand and patient flow challenges, it must be used as efficiently as possible to give them time to focus on caring for their patients.
Manual entry, duplication and use of paper consumes that time, reducing direct care and leading to fatigue, overtime and delayed handover, not to mention the added risk that manual entry and human error can add to the patient journey.
That’s why WUTH are working to integrate observations into our Wirral Millennium® electronic health record (EHR) using Cerner VitalsLink®, so that information is captured once, digitally, directly into the patient record.
Each set of manual observations at WUTH take a nurse around 3min 30sec to complete and manually enter into the EHR. With VitalsLink, it takes just 1min 30sec for the observations to be completed and sent electronically into the patient’s record – a 57 percent saving for each person that can be used for direct patient care. With around 900 beds, and close to 56,000 emergency admissions every year, this certainly adds up to a huge impact.
Use of VitalsLink is growing daily and is already helping save nearly 2,000* nursing hours every month and, when the implementation is completed, will save the Trust’s nursing teams around 37,000 hours per year - time that can be reallocated to direct patient care, ensuring handovers are completed efficiently, or even simply help nurses to end their shift on time.
Digitising care information ensures that data is immediately accessible across the hospital by the care team and offers the added value of enabling intelligent decision support. Continuously monitoring patients’ vital signs in real time, the care team is immediately alerted to at-risk or deteriorating patients. This helps the care team to swiftly act to reduce the risk of conditions such as sepsis and acute kidney injury - when seconds and minutes really make a difference for patient outcomes.
Jane Higginson, maternity ward sister at WUTH, is excited by the introduction of this technology and the impact it’s having, saying “This is nothing short of a revolution for our ward in terms of identifying the threat of sepsis, reducing duplication, removing paper, and saving time. With manual process, there is always a risk of error; VitalsLink removes that risk, as well as giving nurses more time for patients.”
Jacqui Cooper, chief nurse information officer agreed, saying “Implementing VitalsLink across all of our inpatient areas is delivering huge benefits. Nurses are now able to complete and view observations in real time, which releases more time for the nurses to provide care. Removal of manual duplication and real-time documentation of observations also underpins a safer patient experience which is a core focus of the GDE programme. As a GDE, we continue to strive for excellence using digital technology to deliver smarter care and improve outcomes, of which VitalsLink is a core component.”