Deteriorating patients to be detected quicker thanks to new technology | Our news

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Deteriorating patients to be detected quicker thanks to new technology

Cartoon image of a patient in intensive care

Vital signs data is to be digitised across the trust and will mean deteriorating patients will be able to be detected quicker.   

Medical records of patients in intensive care and those having operations have been switched from paper to digital thanks to £4.4million of funding from Barts Charity. This switch means teams are alerted to any life-changing deterioration faster which frees up time for staff in other areas.   

The project involves integrating vital signs data, such as temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and breathing rate, as well as data from ventilators, anaesthetic machines and blood purifying machines, with patients' electronic records. This tailored way of electronic record keeping will provide almost real-time patient data to staff, removing the need for manual data input .  

The technology has been rolled out trust-wide to all ICU and operating theatres after it was introduced at the bedside on general wards at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 2019.  

This led to:  

  • A 20-fold increase in patient escalation forms completed so that patients who are becoming seriously unwell are taken to intensive care more quickly.  
  • A 25-fold increase in patients being screened for sepsis resulting in more patients rapidly receiving the antibiotics they need.  

The introduction of the technology was led by Dr Dan Melley, a consultant in intensive care and deputy chief clinical information officer .   

“We have shown through our early work that clinical data improves care and enables nurses to spend more time with their patients, providing crucial care ,” he said.  

“We are excited that, with new funding, we can bring this to the most critically ill patients at Barts Health. The data we capture will enable clinical staff to monitor and respond to patients when they most need it, faster than before, improving how care is given and delivered. We are so grateful to the charity for this support.”  

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  1. Cheryl Nevin Wednesday, 15 May 2024 at 02:12 PM

    Well done to Dr Dan Melly and team. Great to hear about improvements to patient care, using new and developing technologies.

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