Epsom and St Helier Hospitals extend use of VitalPAC

Rollout across hospitals of patient observation data recording solution

Even more patients at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals are to benefit from the latest developments in mobile healthcare technology as clinicians on nine additional wards across both hospitals are to begin using VitalPAC.

Since August last year nurses on medical wards at have been recording patient observation data on mobile electronic devices such as iPods using a digital solution called VitalPAC Nurse.

Now the use of this technology is to be extended across both sites to surgical wards and renal wards from June.

VitalPAC Nurse documents patients’ vital observations electronically and establishes how sick they are by automatically calculating an Early Warning Score in real time. If the score is higher than it should be, then this can be quickly flagged to doctors who receive an alert on their own device using VitalPAC Doctor.

Doctors can access a wide range of patient data on their mobile device to help them assess the patient and decide on a course of action from anywhere in the hospital, with all actions automatically logged and recorded. VitalPAC Doctor also enables safer handovers, allows doctors to refer patients to specialists for advice or treatment, and improves communications among clinical teams.

The trust has also introduced VitalPAC’s fluid management functionality, allowing nurses to track and calculate each patient's fluid inputs and outputs accurately. Similarly, Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) alerting provides easy identification of patients with early-stage kidney injury so that treatment can commence rapidly.

Because of its proven benefits VitalPAC will be rolled out to the whole trust at a rate of two wards per week.

VitalPAC was the first and is now the most-widely-deployed system of its kind. In other hospitals where it is used, VitalPAC has been shown to reduce unplanned intensive care admissions by 50%, mortality by 15%, length of stay by 10% and cut the time it takes nurses to complete and document a set of observations by up to 40%.

Nick Elliott, client engagement director at The Learning Clinic, said: “Installing VitalPAC within these additional wards will put real-time information in the hands of even more of Epsom and St Helier’s doctors, nurses and other clinical staff, enabling them to take better decisions about patient care - and work more efficiently.

I am delighted at the vote of confidence the trust has given to VitalPAC, having taken the decision to roll it out across even more wards so soon after the initial roll out to its medical wards.

“We know that in the 600 wards across 46 hospitals where VitalPAC is used there have been huge improvements in efficiency and the standard of patient care so I am delighted that as a result of this investment by the Trust many more of its patients will benefit.”

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust’s interim chief nurse, Carole Webster, said: “Our nurses, doctors and ward managers have adopted VitalPAC with ease and so the beginning of June will see the implementation of the system on our surgical wards and renal wards. This will allow us to consistently and seamlessly record electronic vital signs if our patients move around within our hospitals, thus providing greater continuity in their care.”

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