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New care planning at Barnsley improves patient care and gains recognition in nursing awards

11th November 2020

Staff at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are using intuitive electronic care planning to create plans tailored to a patient’s individual needs.  The plans, which are designed to be used and updated at the bedside, are helping to potentially free nursing time to care and to deliver that care in a more collaborative manner with the patient.   

The new functionality is integrated with System C’s EPR and was developed in partnership between the Trust and System C.  It ensures every patient is assessed and given a care plan on admission and the plan then acts as a ‘living document’, evolving in time to ensure care is optimised and desired outcomes are reached.

Barnsley has gone live with System C’s care planning module as part of its wider EPR deployment, which involved migrating from its legacy Lorenzo system to System C’s CareFlow EPR (formerly known as Medway).  The whole EPR deployment process was achieved remotely at Barnsley’s request due to Covid-19 restrictions and the need to assist with infection control. 

Barnsley used the EPR project as an opportunity to replace its existing care plans with more flexible up-to-date care planning and to eliminate multiple care plans per patient.

Claire Grant, chief nursing information officer at Barnsley Hospital, said:

“The fact that we have developed 'one patient - one care plan' and that the plan is truly tailored to the needs of the patient, is a great achievement for the Trust. “

“Nursing care plans add quality to the care of each patient, be personalised to that patient’s needs and provide maximum protection for nurses all while achieving gold standard in documentation. These were our objectives from the outset, and we have met them.”

“When patients stay with us, they/their families and carers, can be involved in the development of their nursing care plan at the bedside and the nurse can therefore have more time with their patients for the 'hands on' care.”

A patient’s care plan is developed using a core template, focusing on the essentials of care including nutrition & hydration, elimination, mobility, sleeping, tissue viability, falls prevention, psychological needs, personal cares, recording of clinical interventions, communication and  venous thromboembolism.  Three assessments are completed within the core to tailor it to the patients’ status and additional needs are added if required.   

This helps ensure a patient gets the same standard, quality and accuracy of care regardless of which members of staff are on duty.

“The flexibility of CareFlow care planning is a major benefit, as nursing practice develops and expands, nationally and locally, we know we can adapt our version to instantly reflect changes, making our care plans future proof”, Claire Grant said. 

Developing and integrating the care plans with the Trust’s new EPR was a huge undertaking for nursing and technical teams.  The work has since been shortlisted by this year’s Nursing Times Awards, awards set up to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the nursing profession in an especially challenging year.

Ian Denley, joint chief executive at System C, commented:

“It has been great working in partnership with Barnsley and its nursing leaders on this care planning functionality, and the fact that Barnsley’s work has been recognised by the Nursing Times Awards is very well deserved. 

We are looking forward to making this functionality available to all our users.”