Emergency department clinicians lead IT project to streamline patient journey

Electronic whiteboard and clinical portal give comprehensive, real-time view of patient information

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust is developing an electronic whiteboard for its emergency department and implementing a clinical portal to give healthcare professionals a comprehensive, real-time view of relevant information about the patients they are treating.

Clinicians at the trust are working closely with Harris Healthcare to develop and customise an interactive whiteboard to provide an overview of patient information at a glance. The system will enable healthcare professionals to track patients more clearly and efficiently from admission to discharge, provide information from underlying systems including temporary information, and capture information at the point of care.

Additionally, the clinical portal will ensure that all relevant information about a patient is brought together in one place without the need to spend time searching between multiple systems for relevant medical information.

The whiteboard and clinical portal will allow us to work effectively by integrating the systems that we already have into one single view, therefore streamlining the clinician’s workflow and ensuring the best possible care for the patient

Dr Amir Hassan, emergency medicine consultant at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, who has been heavily involved with the solution’s development, said: “Emergency departments are under significant pressure to treat patients, many whom are in a critical condition, as quickly and effectively as possible. The whiteboard and clinical portal will allow us to work effectively by integrating the systems that we already have into one single view, therefore streamlining the clinician’s workflow and ensuring the best possible care for the patient.”

He added: “The whiteboard is about tracking patients through their pathway. It will enable us to click on a patient to arrange activity and check whether that has been followed up. For example, it will tell us their location, make us aware of clinical alerts and facilitate ordering and viewing of laboratory test results all through one interactive screen. Meanwhile, the portal will bring their relevant clinical information together and if technology is quick and easy then people will use it.”

Dr Chloe Johnston, paediatric consultant at the trust, said the whiteboard will ensure greater visibility of patients and their status within the department. It will also help to highlight patients on special registers and those that require consultant review while simultaneously recording information for reporting.

“On top of the clinical functionality, the solutions provide bespoke reporting capabilities so that the trust can capture additional information about the patients they treat for reporting and targets in order to assist the organisation in meeting mandatory targets set locally and by the government,” she added.

On top of the clinical functionality, the solutions provide bespoke reporting capabilities so that the trust can capture additional information about the patients they treat for reporting and targets in order to assist the organisation in meeting mandatory targets set locally and by the government

Both Dr Hassan and Dr Johnston have been working alongside Harris Healthcare to scope the project for both of the systems.

Dr Johnston added: “It is absolutely critical that IT projects have clinical leadership, as the little things that are easily overlooked can often make a huge difference to us and the way we care for our patients. We’ve been able to incorporate feedback from a huge range of stakeholders including requirements from our clinical commissioning groups.

“The real test comes when clinicians finally use it for real, but being designed by clinicians for clinicians, we are confident that the system will be a success.”

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