Hicom’s Twinkle-net aids diabetes management

Solution used by University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust to provide real-time data on management of paediatric diabetes patients

The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has upgraded its paediatric diabetes care management database to Twinkle.NET, the web-based solution from healthcare IT provider, Hicom.

Each year, the trust cares for 900,000 patients across emergency treatment, planned operations and medical care and currently provides services for 325 paediatric diabetes patients.

Following the creation of University Hospitals of North Midlands through the integration of County Hospital and Royal Stoke University Hospital – a user of Hicom’s Twinkle for more than 10 years - UHNM made the decision to upgrade its existing Hicom Twinkle system to the web-based solution to allow staff and patients to benefit from additional functionalities. These include the ability to automatically update and view patient records remotely, as well as on the hospital grounds, and automatically download test results; with all of this securely done in real-time.

The solution is in use by all staff caring for paediatric diabetic patients, which range from nurses, junior doctors and consultants to dieticians, clinical psychologists and the managerial team.

Offered as Software on a Service (SaaS) basis, Twinkle.NET is a Microsoft.NET based application that includes a comprehensive diabetes-related electronic health record tailored to the needs of paediatric diabetes specialists, as well as administrative and audit tools.

Dr Parakkal Raffeeq, consultant paediatrician at the trust’s children’s centre, said: “An instant advantage of Twinkle.NET is the ability to upload patient notes to the system in real-time. For a nurse, this means they can take their laptop to a patient’s home, remotely connect to the system, instantly see previous notes and update these while with the patient, rather than having to manually upload their written notes at a later date.

“For a consulting doctor, the upgrade proves invaluable: with all of a patient’s data in one place, they no longer have to be verbally briefed before seeing them, or rely on the patient remembering details from an earlier appointment. This means they can better advise and treat in line with colleagues, providing continuity of care for patients.”

Since moving to Twinkle.NET, the hospital has noticed significant time savings and efficiency gains, particularly within the lab testing process. Rather than having to transcribe and upload test results manually, these are automatically uploaded to Twinkle.NET and then seamlessly generated into a letter, eliminating the risk of human error.

By using Twinkle.NET, staff at UHNM can ensure the best-possible care for their patients at all times. Dr Rafeeq said: “We see patients every three months, but clearly diabetes requires constant management. We therefore run an out-of-hours service that many of our patients use. If a patient calls and perhaps can’t recall some of their medical history, it’s important staff can quickly and easily access their information.

“Upgrading our diabetes care management solution means the whole paediatric diabetes department is in sync and operating with the most up-to-date and reliable information, which is vital as we continue to improve the quality of care given to our patients.”

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