Brighton and Sussex University Hospital (BSUH) is an acute teaching hospital working across two campus sites: the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. The Brighton campus includes the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Sussex Eye Hospital, and the Haywards Heath campus includes the Hurstwood Park Regional Centre for Neurosciences and the Sussex Orthopaedic Treatment Centre.
BSUH treats over three quarters of a million patients each year from in and around the City of Brighton and Hove, Mid Sussex and the western part of East Sussex.
In order to improve bed management and patient flow at the hospital, BSUH needed to provide staff with patient information that was both highly visible and accessible remotely. For many years the hospital operated two systems for patient management: a handwritten dry-wipe board and an electronic desktop programme. These systems were difficult to keep updated in real-time and required valuable time to keep aligned with one another, causing delays to patient discharge and progression throughout the hospitals.
Administrative staff on each ward were often responsible for keeping records updated in the old system, however this service was only available during normal office hours Monday to Friday. This resulted in slow record updates during unsociable hours and weekends that affected decision-making and delayed patient care.
The Trust looked at a number of technology partners and after a four week pilot scheme in December 2012, selected Stone Group, the ICT services provider to the UK public sector, for its large interactive screen requirements. Stone was selected through the Government Procurement Service Framework for its service levels, industry knowledge and competitive pricing.
The Trust decided to digitise its bed management system in order to improve patient flow and patient care and therefore introduce more efficiencies. The Samsung LFD interactive screens allow teams to focus on work where needed, for example if a bed is required staff can see when the next bed is due and what is outstanding to make it available. They also use a traffic light coding system that allows all staff coming onto the ward, such as a physiotherapist, to quickly and clearly see which patient requires their assessment and where they can be found. In addition, this same information can be accessed remotely on a desktop by the same physiotherapist while on another ward or in their own department.
By making patient information visible, it has created massive efficiencies in decision-making, enabling staff to improve patient care by knowing where a patient is as soon as they enter a ward and where there are empty beds.
Since introducing the new bed management system, the timeliness report – calculated between the time a patient physically moves and time entered on system – immediately brought the average per week down by more than 500%, taking 7-9 minutes in comparison to the previous three days. This can be attributed to the visibility of the interactive screens and the ‘drag and drop to discharge’ functionality.
Stone Group worked behind the scenes to ensure a seamless installation, ensuring the screens were immediately useable with minimal disruption to each ward. Each installation took no more than 30 minutes to set-up on-site, from removal of the dry-wipe board to signing in the first patient electronically.
The installation was completed in three weeks, broken up by a week for staff training.
“We are delighted with the simplicity, visibility and tidiness of the interactive displays. We needed to increase visibility of patient information and ensure the same information was visible on every desktop throughout the Trust in order to increase efficiencies in each ward and make decision-making easier and quicker. One thing that’s made this project so successful is the buy-in from staff from day one. There has been a massive boost in morale as they see the technology making their jobs easier. It is helping our nurses focus on what is crucial – whilst the administrative role is key, our nurses have trained so hard for so long to be able to deliver the standards of care that our patients expect.
Stone Group was the clear choice for us, demonstrating knowledge and understanding of our position as an NHS Trust, enabling us to make informed decisions. They have provided flexibility and outstanding customer care, completing the installation quickly and seamlessly with minimal disruption to the day to day running of the hospitals.
We have already recommended Stone Group to two other NHS Trusts and look forward to working with them again in the near future as we plan towards rolling out electronic patient records across the Trust.”