Automation of Manchester early warning system improves patient safety
Clinicians say their work has been speeded up and
patient safety improved via use of special handhelds that are
making it easier to input important data.
"This technology flags patients at risk of deteriorating, and
automatically alerts medical staff," said Sarah Ingleby, lead nurse
for the Acute Care Team and hospital at night.
The technology in question is a system called Patientrack
that she says "supports our clinical processes" and which seems to
be making a real contribution.
For example, Central Manchester has seen a 50% reduction in
cardiac arrests, lower risk of mortality for out of hours'
admissions, and reduced critical care length of stay, she adds - as
well as patients benefiting from improved observations accuracy,
early warning score response rates, and faster clinical
The system, now fully embedded throughout all in-patient areas
in 55 wards in adult and children's hospitals across the trust,
helps nurses better deliver an early warning system that was first
introduced in Central Manchester in 2000 and which as subsequently
been extended by a process of feedback and localisation.
Improved access to rich, real-time data
Central Manchester's informatics team helped ensure the patient
observation process happens seamlessly across all six of the busy
trust's sites, with just one attendance and patient record
maintained in Patientrack. This benefits the patient, as all their
sets of observations are maintained for the duration of their care
with Ingleby's team, she says.
"At ward level, nurses love how much they can get done via
automating the early warning system like this," she adds. "They
know that the system will help automatically escalate up if there
are any warning signs. Higher up, clinical management teams now
have better access to very rich, real-time data that means they can
immediately tell from their monitors what's happening with every
"We're getting so much more information to audit and improve
practice here," she concludes.