Looking to replace a legacy system, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) wanted to improve nursing assessment tools and usability for its staff and patients.
The existing system was no longer fit for purpose and, frustratingly, staff struggled to access the system and complete assessments in a timely manner. On ELHT’s wish list were ways to improve handovers, increase patient contact time, facilitate and speed up processes and increase data flow – all, ideally, with user-friendly technology.
The Trust already used ExtraMed Patient Flow which offered an easy, intuitive experience for busy staff so it was a natural progression to explore ExtraMed’s Nursing Assessments system.
First steps: engagement and understanding
Getting the right system was important but close engagement with clinical teams was a crucial first step. ELHT’s IT and training teams spent time understanding what clinicians needed, keeping benefits front of mind and ensuring clinicians felt ownership of the proposed solution.
The training team was brought in early on to develop training materials alongside the project. ELHT trainers are experienced and flexible, working to ensure there is strong engagement with and information for the teams. Collaborating with ExtraMed on the design of each nursing assessment flow, the assessments process was revisited as part of the implementation. This led to improvements in usability and productivity.
Integration and training on nursing assessment tools
The new system needed to be able to evolve to work with an integrated Electronic Patient Records (EPR) system and other future systems. ExtraMed’s Nursing Assessment system is future-proof in this respect. In addition, it is also integrated with the ADT (Admissions/Discharge/Transfer) system.
Integrating into the working lives (and minds) of staff came next. ExtraMed provided training to complement the intuitive nature of the system and ELHT developed a self-guided training video in-house with an interactive test at the end to embed learning.
Supporting nurses, increasing patient contact time
Following a successful pilot across two wards, the new system was rolled out to the whole Trust just two weeks later. The new system enabled quicker handovers – a previous sticking point for teams – providing accurate, trusted, visual data, making the handover process as streamlined as possible.
What’s more, a significant amount of admin time was saved, freeing nurses to perform better patient care and increase contact time. The Trust reports an impressive 100% improvement in productivity around nursing assessments, ensuring better outcomes for all.