A new digital system that helps medical practitioners identify and monitor patients whose health is deteriorating is being launched by NHS Lanarkshire.
The Patientrack electronic observation system, which has been successfully trialled at University Hospital Monklands, will enable hospital staff to record patients’ vital signs on iPads, rather than by using paper charts.
The Patientrack trial was spearheaded by University Hospital Monklands as part of its ongoing Monklands Replacement Project (MRP), which aims to create Scotland’s first digital hospital.
Patientrack software tracks a patient’s pulse, temperature, blood pressure, oxygen levels and breathing, then automatically alerts clinicians if an individual requires assistance.
Karen Goudie, chief of nursing services at University Hospital Monklands, said initial trials have highlighted the benefits of the digital system.
“Patientrack has been piloted on five wards and we’ve learned from our own experience and that of other UK healthcare providers that the system brings a number of clinical benefits,” she said.
“These include reduced harm from serious conditions such as hypoglycemia, acute kidney injury and sepsis, and better outcomes for patients with acute illnesses,” Goudie added.
So far, the system has shown to improve staff wellbeing and fulfilment, largely because a digital system enhances efficiency and allows them more time with patients.
As part of planning for the new Monklands hospital, the existing hospital is testing the use of an “operational command centre”.
The centre will include large screens which display live Patientrack data, as well as other key information such as emergency department activity and ambulance arrivals.
Following the success of the initial pilot scheme, the observation system will be officially rolled out at University Hospital Wishaw and University Hospital Hairmyres.
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MRP director, Graeme Reid, said systems such as Patientrack will, long-term, help create a “more agile response” to the challenges faced by the NHS.
He commented: “That’s why the current Monklands site is leading the way in taking forward technological advances, such as Patientrack, that will be a core element of our operational command centre and our plans for a new, state-of-the-art hospital to serve the communities of Lanarkshire for decades to come.”