Teaching hospitals introduce interactive whiteboards

New touchscreen technology can be used to track medically fit patients who have not been discharged.

New touchscreen technology can be used to track medically fit patients who have not been discharged.

A city’s teaching hospitals have introduced interactive whiteboards on their wards to display patient information following a successful pilot with nurses.

The touchscreen technology being used at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust shows details such as medical conditions, length of admission and predicted discharge date.

It also acts as a tracking system to identify what prevents the discharge of patients who are medically fit to leave hospital.

Previously, staff wrote this information on boards by hand whenever patients were admitted or moved. This meant staff had to take time out from caring duties to interpret and re-write patients’ notes, and increased the risk of inaccuracies during translation.

It is hoped the introduction of the whiteboards, which began on the older people’s wards at Southampton General Hospital, and involved nurses and doctors, will be completed on all wards by the end of the year.

Trust divisional head of nursing Katie Prichard-Thomas said: ‘This innovation will improve the safety and quality of patient care dramatically, and feedback from ward staff has been extremely positive.

‘The system assigns relevant clinical alerts, such as for conditions including diabetes and dementia, to patients. They will be flagged up on future admissions and provide an early warning signal for staff to consider when planning the patients’ care.’

The innovation forms part of the trust’s selection as one of 16 digital centres of excellence by the Department of Health, known as global digital exemplars.

As part of the four-year project the trust will receive £10 million to pioneer innovations in information management and technology with the aim of becoming a paperless organisation.

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