Cardiff and Vale becomes a UK leader in NHS mobile working

Stone Group’s 800 netbook deployment puts Cardiff and Vale University Health Board among UK leaders in NHS mobile rollouts

As part of its Community Mobile Working Project, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, with the help of Stone Group, will complete its implementation of 800 netbook devices by late summer 2015, making it one of the largest NHS mobile rollouts in the UK.

The groundbreaking NHS project has grown from a 20 nurse mobile PARIS Electronic Patient Record (EPR) access pilot deployment in 2009 to a mobile device in the hands of 781 community and mental health service staff.

The deployment helps the clinical staff serve the 445,000 population of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Since inception until May 2015, 700 devices, provided by Stone Group, have been rolled out, with the expectation of progressing beyond 800 devices by August 2015.

Such is the success of the project, 23 site visits by NHS organisations and local authorities across England and Wales have been conducted at Cardiff and Vale to learn from the project and implement similar rollouts.

“The objective of the mobile project is to assure effective and secure communication of key clinical events between all divisions of the health board,” said Mark Cahalane, PARIS programme manager.

“Our staff can now visit patients anywhere in the field and both view and update their PARIS held clinical records remotely via their devices. This allows for hand written reports to become a thing of the past, reducing the admin burden of duplicating work ‘back at base’ and giving staff additional patient time. Ultimately improving the quality of care which is our primary focus.”

From the original 435 device deployment, 205 devices are being replaced in 2015. Cardiff and Vale, with the guidance of Stone Group, has selected Lenovo netbooks due to their robustness and lightweight, and based on feedback from clinical staff in the field a new mobile provider, 02, has been selected due to its outstanding 4G connection in the region.

Each device is configured by Stone Group to include NHS security imaging, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board branding is etched on the lid to make it less resalable, security cards are provided so staff can sever the connection remotely if the device is ever lost or stolen, and a three-year warranty is included.

“Cardiff and Vale is committed to the mobility of its community and mental health clinical workforce, and we needed a partner that could support this initiative,” said Peter Hardy, mobile working lead.

“We selected Stone Group as our preferred supplier throughout this project as they have the specialised expertise, and can provide the bespoke service we need. Their provision of experienced and bespoke support has been invaluable.”

The remaining 365 devices from the 2010/11 procurement, which are not to be replaced this year, will have their useful lifetimes extended via the use of MiFi’s (portable antenna) devices. These help with quicker 4G connection when staff are ‘on the road’.

Moving forward, Cardiff and Vale has alluded that the next generation of refresh will include hybrid models (detachable screens and touch-screen facility) as staff have identified that a touch screen capability can be useful where limited record input is necessary, for example where vital signs, or a short casenote are being recorded. Fortunately, Cardiff and Vale’s Community and Mental health EPR solution is PARIS, which allows for touch-screen based working, based upon Windows 8 design principles.

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