WHERE THIS HAPPENED: Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust
Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust have helped develop a vital signs application that alerts staff to a patient’s deteriorating condition before it becomes life-threatening.
The global digital exemplar trust worked in partnership with clinical technology specialist IMS Maxims on the design and functionality of its latest app, which can be accessed from anywhere in the hospital.
Michael Thick, chief clinical information officer and chief medical officer at IMS Maxims said it addresses a common pitfall of existing clinical apps – alert fatigue, where users become so used to receiving notifications from an application that they become inclined to ignore them or turn them off.
“The Maxims solution gives staff tailored alert support, avoiding the send-to-all approach of other solutions”, Thick said.
“The 24/7 monitoring system and vital decision support make it quicker and easier for staff to observe a patient’s condition and prevent them from getting any worse.”
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WHERE THIS HAPPENED: Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Medicines reconciliation is integral to patient safety, symptom control and reducing patient anxiety. During a 3-month period on the respiratory ward at St. Peter's Hospital, 54% of drug charts were not reconciled with pre-admission medicines at the point of discharge for admissions up to 17 days. Only 18% were reconciled within 24 hours of admission. 50% of drug charts were missing 0-2 pre-admission medicines and 50% were missing 3-5 pre-admission medicines. The most common medicines that were not reconciled included topical applications which included eye, ear, nasal and skin applications (14%); vitamins i.e. vitamin B12 and thiamine, analgesia, PRN inhalers (11% individually); antidepressants and lipid regulators (6% individually); amongst a range of other medications including antiplatelets, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors and diuretics.
Two interventions were carried out to improve the rate of medicines reconciliation onto hospital drug charts with pre-admission medicines. These were: 1) a green sticker placed in the medical notes by the pharmacist when drug charts were incomplete, which required a date and signature from the doctor when the drug chart had been reconciled 2) the placing of the loose medicines reconciliation record (a list of pre-admission medicines retrieved from a reliable source usually by the pharmacist) to the front of the drug chart. These measures were designed to alert the doctors that the drug chart was incomplete.
After 2 PDSA cycles, the results showed positive outcomes. In 75% of the cases where the interventions were used, medicines reconciliation was complete at the point of discharge with 34% of drug charts reconciled within 24 hours of admission. Of the 25% of drug charts that were not reconciled despite the use of the interventions, 100% of them were missing 0-2 medicines however 0% were missing 3-5 medicines. This highlights that the interventions were effective in improving the rates of medicines reconciliation.
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WHERE THIS HAPPENED: East London NHS Foundation Trust
Cost effective care requires comprehensive person-centred formulation of solutions. The East London NHS Foundation Trust Community Health Services in Newham have piloted models of Integrated Care called ‘Virtual Wards’ which aim to keep people living with multiple long-term conditions, well at home by minimising system complexity. These Virtual Wards comprise Interdisciplinary Teams (IDTs) with a General Practitioner (GP) seconded to provide leadership. Historically assessments have been dominated by biomedical approaches with disability emphasised over personal aspirations and ability. New professional skills are needed to organise information from diverse approaches into a common framework, which can enable agreed goals of care to be delivered collaboratively. From June 2014 to January 2016 we aimed to improve the documentation of person-centred goals of care in 100% of our assessments. Change ideas were tested and team development addressed to improve documentation of aspirations for care for people being referred and if achieved, then to test ideas to improve coproduction of care. Change ideas included Enhanced Clinical Supervision (ECS) by a GP with additional expert skills; Flash Teaching (FT) defined as five-minute weekly discussion on topics generated from the case-mix to develop a shared understanding of Integrated Care; Structured Formulation using a novel, quick, integrated assessment framework called the Handy Approach (HA) with the hand as a memory prompt to bring the personal together with the mental, social and physical domains and finally we tested focusing on ‘Team Primacy’ (mutual regard within the team) to embed behaviour change. 181 cases were tracked and documentation of personal aspirations for care by case showed: ECS 0/21 (0%); FT 5/50 (10%); ECS/FT plus the HA 35/83 (42%); Team Primacy plus ECS/FT/HA 27/27 (100%). By January 2016 prompted by using the Handy Approach in a highly functional team, all members of the IDT consistently documented personal aspirations.
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