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Whittington Health fast tracks e-observations go live

1st March 2019

Whittington Health NHS Trust has gone live with System C’s CareFlow Vitals electronic observation system in a fast-tracked deployment made possible by NHS England’s Global Digital Exemplar programme.

Staff across Whittington Health’s adult wards are now recording patients’ vital signs onto iPods and iPads, instead of paper charts kept at the end of their beds.

The new electronic observation system is cutting the amount of time it takes to complete a set of patient observations and reducing the likelihood of recording errors.  It will help to identify deteriorating patients more rapidly allowing specialist care to be provided quicker. There is strong evidence that the more quickly deteriorating patients are identified the more avoidable deaths are prevented.

Dale Carrington, chief nursing information officer at Whittington Health, said:

The system is already making a difference to patient care. Just over 100,000 full sets of observations have been recorded on the system so far, that averages out at nearly 2,000 a day and that figure is increasing.  As a project team we are thrilled that the roll out went without a hitch.

For the first time doctors and other specialists can see the condition of all their patients in real time, from any trust computer or iPad and can prioritise care by how unwell they are.  Introducing these new features is helping Whittington Health to change its care delivery from reactive to proactive. Tisenia Alombro, ward sister, Older People’s Ward at Whittington Health, commented:

The system has been really effective. It was easy for us all to pick up because it is so intuitive to use. It has given us a real picture of how sick our patients are and where we need to focus our time as nurses. It has also made our handovers between teams more efficient and data driven.

Whittington Health partners with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol), as a ‘fast follower’ on the Global Digital Exemplar programme.  One of the major features of the GDE programme is the sharing of best practice between participating Trusts.  By using the same UH Bristol blueprint, Whittington Health was able to cut the CareFlow Vitals deployment time in half – to just six weeks.

We learned from UH Bristol, refined their learning so it suited our circumstances and are passing that refined learning on to others to improve even more,” said Sam Barclay, chief clinical information officer at Whittington Health.  “We are now in turn sharing our documentation, our standard operating procedures, information governance procedures and so on, and the feedback so far has been great. 

As part of the Trust’s digital transformation programme it has also gone live with System C’s CareFlow Connect, a mobile clinical communications app designed specifically for the NHS, which allows clinicians to collaborate securely about their patients across teams and care providers.