Releasing time to care

NHS Tayside strengthens procurement process with SEC3URE commercial visitor tracking service

To strengthen its procurement process, NHS Tayside has recently implemented the IntelliCentrics SEC3URE visitor policy compliance and enforcement service.

SEC3URE enhances the management of commercial visitors (CVs), such as healthcare company representatives and contractors, and therefore protects clinical time for patients.

It is the first health board in Scotland to employ the fully-managed tracking service for CVs and potentially paves the way for other boards to follow suit - creating a consistent access policy across the country.

The project was driven by NHS Tayside theatre and clinical service management teams who identified the need to introduce safeguards around CV activity.

As a result, SEC3URE has been implemented in the procurement department of the region’s-biggest hospital and teaching facility, Ninewells Hospital, the University of Dundee’s Medical School, and Perth Royal Infirmary.

Its introduction replaces the board’s paper-based CV management service, which had been in place for the previous five years.

Judith Willis, deputy head of procurement at NHS Tayside, said: “We believe that commercial visitors add value to our services and, in several instances, are an essential support to our core business.

“However, it was evident from conversations with nursing staff that unannounced visits were still taking place - resulting in diary management challenges and distractions from patient care.

“In an attempt to address this, the procurement team in Tayside worked with the theatre management team to facilitate the introduction of the IntelliCentrics SEC3URE service.

“It gives us the monitoring capabilities that we need to ensure that visits, and subsequent procurements, are undertaken in line with our board-wide policies.

“And, of course, by stipulating a range of essential credentials that visitors must adhere to, there are the additional benefits of enhanced infection control - and subsequent patient safety.

“Moreover, staff now feel empowered, upon encountering an un-badged CV on site to either direct the CV to the procurement department, where the protocol will be fully explained, or, alternatively, the visit will be politely declined.

“A major attraction to the service was the absence of any investment required by the board – making the implementation of SEC3URE low risk. If it didn’t deliver benefits, the service could simply be unplugged. It has, however, been active since the beginning of the year and so far it appears to be working well for us.

“Not only is CV activity managed, but infection control is also strengthened by ensuring that any such activity complies with the required credentials. This is vital in areas where our most vulnerable patients are being cared for.

“The benefits of SEC3URE also complement the board’s Releasing Time to Care initiative, which aims to ensure that clinical staff spend as much time as possible with patients. Issues of cold calling, where staff often feel obliged to meet with those CVs who turn up unannounced, have also been overcome.

“And, in terms of staff feedback, the service could not have been any easier to implement or use.”

Azadar Shah, managing director of IntelliCentrics UK, added: “By letting the SEC3URE service take on the burden of managing CVs, NHS Tayside has the necessary tools to ensure the most-effective adherence to its procurement and safety policies and the best use of clinical time.”

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