Pioneer scoops innovation award for patient safety work using tracking technology

Clinical programme lead for Royal Wolverhampton hailed in regional NHS Leadership Recognition Awards for implementation of real-time locating system from TeleTracking

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Clare Nash of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust received the NHS Innovator of the Year Award for the West Midlands region award at the NHS Leadership Recognition Awards.

Nash, an intensive and critical care nurse, won the accolade in appreciation of her work enhancing patient safety at the trust through the SafeHands programme, for which she is programme manager.

I have been fortunate to work closely with IT partners to lead change and improve patient outcomes by using real-time technology

Nash said, “As a nurse, patient safety is at the heart of what I do. I have been fortunate to work closely with IT partners, notably TeleTracking Technologies, to lead change and improve patient outcomes by using real-time technology – this has been an extremely rewarding journey.

“Winning this award is a huge honour which recognises the commitment and hard work of the whole team that contributed to the programme design, build and implementation. This collaboration is helping to keep our patients at New Cross Hospital safer.”

SafeHands is a unique programme that uses real-time locating software (RTLS) provided by TeleTracking and its UK subsidiary, TeleTrackingEU, to improve patient safety. RTLS uses a combination of infra-red and radio-frequency technology to accurately pinpoint locations of tagged equipment, badged patients and staff. Information is presented to end users in real-time on large touch screens and computers.

RTLS innovations help The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust enhance infection prevention and control by automatically monitoring hand-washing compliance. Hand hygiene plays a crucial part in reducing hospital-acquired infections (HCAIs), and TeleTracking’s solutions have enabled the trust’s New Cross Hospital to increase hand-washing monitoring by 1,000% in a single month. Last year, the trust announced a milestone of over one million hand hygiene observations versus 600 visual observations over the same time period.

The trust is also extending its use of TeleTracking’s solutions to help with patient flow and capacity management as well as infection prevention. In the case of an HCAI outbreak, TeleTracking’s RTLS system can track the role of every badged staff member who comes in contact with an infected patient. This feature enables rapid isolation and screening and may significantly reduce the amount of time required to deal with such outbreaks.

Nash has been working on the design, implementation and evaluation of the system with trust colleagues and TeleTracking for over four years, and this award comes after the trust won the HSJ Award for Technology and IT to improve Patient Safety in 2014.

Nash's colleagues, Cheryl Etches, chief nursing officer; and Diane Davies, clinical informatics manager, supported her nomination.

Clare has always been someone who is driven by the desire to improve patient care through innovation and collaboration

TeleTracking's chief executive, Michael Gallup, said: “Clare has always been someone who is driven by the desire to improve patient care through innovation and collaboration. This award recognises how she puts patients first by working with people and technology to deliver results."

As a regional winner, Nash will automatically go forward to the national awards to be held in February.

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