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Vital signs observations, such as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, are now being recorded electronically in real time at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust thanks to the introduction of a new digital app.

After several months of testing and staff training the system has been launched, initially on Wards 1, 2 and 3. It will be rolled out across the other Sheffield Children’s inpatient wards and Emergency Department over the coming weeks.

The Careflow Vitals app means you will now see nurses using Trust iPhones and iPads on the wards and at bedside regularly. This is fine – they’re recording crucial information about patients – not updating their social media! It’s a new way of working, replacing the recording of clinical observations on paper PEWS (Paediatric Early Warning Score) charts.

The PEW score aids the recognition of an acutely deteriorating child or young person and prompts the review or escalation of care.

Dr Jeff Perring, Executive Medical Director at Sheffield Children’s, said: “Vitals is one of a number of Digital Journey projects which are helping the Trust to move from paper-based activities to digital solutions, and improving processes and patient care.

“Recording patient observations via the Vitals app will speed up the process as our nurses can do it instantly in real time and at the bedside. It will allow other health care workers to review PEW charts digitally (and away from the patient bedside) which will aid communication around patient care.

“Vitals also integrates with our Careflow Connect system which clinicians have been using to digitally record patient handovers at shift changeovers since last summer.

“All our new digital systems which record and store patient information are confidential and secure, so patients and their families and carers have nothing to worry about from these changes.”

Careflow Vitals and Careflow Connect have been developed and implemented in Trusts across the country by System C, one of the UK’s leading health and social care IT software and services companies.

To find out more about how Sheffield Children’s is recording vital observations electronically, watch this video: