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A brand new system has launched at Bassetlaw Hospital, enabling clinicians to electronically record patient observations.

Rolling-out within all six adult wards within the Worksop site, ‘eObservations’ makes use of a mobile device (often an Android phone) and allows health professionals to record patient observations using a secure app. These investigations are then automatically calculated by the system, alerting a senior nurse or doctor if urgent attention is required.

One of the most important tasks within any hospital, ‘clinical observations’ is the term used to describe the multitude of tests and exercises which are used to monitor the health of a patient. Undertaken at regular intervals, from temperature checks to heart rate monitoring, these observations help doctors and nurses understand the condition of their patients, guiding treatment if anything changes.

Dr Mike Whiteside, Physician and Chief Clinical Information Officer at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), said: “This is an incredibly exciting change for the Trust. By using eObservations we will reduce the amount of paperwork we incur daily, while substantially improving patient safety and communication with colleagues should they need urgent attention.

“Ensuring we make best use of technology to improve patient care is incredibly important and will define our success as a Trust in the years to come, helping us to improve patient care, and ultimately aiding us in our vision to be the safest Trust in England, outstanding in all that we do.”

The roll-out has proven a success so far, with the eObservations systems reporting on the first day of usage:

·        2,136 patient observations carried out

·        Delays in the recording of observations significantly reduced

·        Zero calculation errors for NEWS2 (a sepsis diagnosis calculation tool)

·        100% timely and appropriate escalation from Health Care Assistant to Registered Nurse

·        100% timely and appropriate escalation to Nurse in Charge and Doctors and Advanced Clinical Practitioners.

eObservations, provided by Nervecentre, is an extension of Hospital@ introduced to the Trust in early 2019, and helps in the recording and distribution of tasks within wards and departments between health professionals. Similar to the former system, observations are logged centrally on the system, with an accompanying patient record and related notes and alerts visible to trained users. The system will also work out the frequency of required observations, helping clinicians to make the most of their time.

The system is currently being rolled-out to the six adult wards of Bassetlaw Hospital, as well as Endoscopy and Day Surgery. If everything goes to plan, a further deployment will commence in Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Montagu Hospital later this year and early next.

Dr Whiteside continues: “While we implement this latest system we also want to highlight to patients that while clinicians are using mobile devices, they are not checking Facebook or messaging their friends, they are in fact undertaking essential work. If our patients have any questions at all about the system, we encourage them to speak with colleagues who will be more than happy to explain eObservations and its use.”

The launch of eObservations and Hospital@ forms part of DBTH’s ‘Digital Transformation programme, a scheme of work which is looking at making the most of new technologies in order to improve patient care, safety, experience and treatment.