Hi-tech system for King’s Mill Hospital

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Sherwood Forest Hospitals will become the first in the Midlands to introduce an award-winning hi-tech system to revolutionise patient safety at King’s Mill Hospital.

The new system - VitalPAC - will enable doctors and nurses to record clinical data on hand-held iPod devices at the patients’ bedside, which will then be instantly analysed.

When an unusually-high score is calculated from a patient’s observations and vital signs, the appropriate doctor will immediately be alerted on their personal hand-held mobile device.

They will then be prompted to respond to the nurse and record actions taken.

Identifying high risk and deteriorating patients at the earliest possible opportunity ensures that clinical staff can take the necessary action immediately to save lives.

The new system will be used from the patient’s admission to hospital and throughout their stay, replacing the traditional paper chart at the end of each bed.

VitalPAC virtually eliminates the possibility of human error in both calculating scores and making a judgement call about a patient’s condition. Studies have shown that the error rate in calculations is reduced three-fold.

Doctor Lisa Milligan, consultant anaesthetist at the trust, said: “The introduction of VitalPAC supports the trust’s strategy to reduce mortality rates and improve quality of care.

“Failure to respond to patient deterioration is a major cause of preventable hospital mortality worldwide. We are confident that the new system will have a major positive impact on our cardiac arrest and mortality rates.

“Research suggests that it is also about 40 per cent quicker for nurses to record a complete set of observations and calculate score using the new automated system, compared to the pen and paper method. Releasing our nursing staff from time-consuming administrative tasks will enable them to focus on their most important role of providing high quality patient care.”