Portsmouth NHS Trust saves midwives time with digital pens

Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust says it is saving time and £220,000 a year by giving midwives Blackberry phones and digital pens to record information during...

Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust says it is saving time and £220,000 a year by giving midwives Blackberry phones and digital pens to record information during post-natal visits with new mothers.

Midwives used to take notes on paper during home visits with new parents, and would have to enter them into the system when returning to the hospital.

They now use Blackberry phones and electronic pen and paper technology from PaperIQ to fill out the form. The pen captures what is written, and automatically encrypts and sends the data to the smartphone via Bluetooth. The phone then sends it to the maternity unit's patient records system.

The phones are currently used by 130 midwives working in the local community, across four hospitals and 320 different sites. The elimination of the need to note information twice saves them time and hassle, according to the trust.

Richard Sargent, ICT change control specialist and team leader at the NHS trust, said the technology paid for itself in its first year of being deployed.

"We have freed up 'time to care' equivalent to five full-time midwives. The Blackberry solution with PaperIQ paid for itself and began generating savings in the first year. In the second and third years it is all savings."

The trust is also looking at using the technology in emergency departments.

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