Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has implemented a mobile working platform to help improve the efficiency and quality of patient care in the community.
Using a grant from the Nursing Technology Fund – a government initiative launched in 2012 to enable nurses, midwives and health visitors to use digital technology when making their rounds – the Trust deployed Vodafone’s Total Mobility platform and equipped 400 community nursing staff with tablet devices.
Vodafone’s platform – which includes a mobile working solution from public sector mobile specialist TotalMobile – will enable the Trust’s teams to spend more time on frontline work.
The platform was integrated with the Trust’s existing patient record system, RiO, to enable users to access and update patient records, and review policies and critical details while on call.
The Trust said staff could now make better informed decisions in real time and talk their patients through treatment plans and equipment using visual aids on their tablet devices.
Paul Morton, head of health at Vodafone, said the ability to offer the flexibility and convenience of home visits was of increasing importance to health services around the UK.
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But the country’s ageing population meant more and more people would need long-term residential care, he said, which will put the NHS under pressure to be more efficient in managing its resources, human and otherwise, so communications technology will become much more important.
The Trust has also added applications to access daily rotas, so field staff no longer have to travel to and from the office between home visits. It believes that, as a result, staff will be able to make up to two extra patient visits each day.
“While increasing efficiency is important, allowing our nurses to give the best possible patient care is our focus,” said Graham Softley, associate IT director for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.
“Vodafone’s software solution has enabled us to provide a reliable, secure system to support our community staff. Regardless of their technical ability or knowledge, they are now able to access key information while visiting patients in the community or their own homes.”
Carolyn Morrice, chief nurse and director of patient care standards at the Trust, added: “As well as allowing us to create a more sustainable, paper-free system, this technology is supporting a closer working relationship between our teams in the community and those working at our hospitals.”