Patients go with the FLOW
09/06/2014The Southern Health and Social Care Trust is the first in Northern Ireland to introduce a bespoke electronic system which is providing real time information on patient care and bed availability for those needing hospital admission.
It is hoped that the system will continue to minimise the time patients wait in the Emergency Department following the decision that they require admission.
Siobhan Hanna, Assistant Director of Informatics for the Southern Trust, explains: “FLOW is a tailor-made system which we developed with Aura Healthcare to match how our staff care for patients and how they move through our hospital system, from admission, throughout their treatment, including any ward transfers, right through to discharge. Each ward has an electronic screen which displays the needs of every patient at a glance and includes alerts and tasks to ensure effective communication between all staff involved in their care.”
The system has been well received by staff particularly nurses and bed managers as Bed Manager Team Leader Catriona Kavanagh adds: “Because it was designed around their specific needs, using processes and symbols they already know, FLOW has been relatively easy for staff to get used to. The Emergency Department can now submit an electronic request for a bed with all the patient details needed to share with the receiving ward, reducing the need for phone calls between wards and departments to pass on or verify information. As bed managers have a live view of occupancy, they no longer need to walk the hospital to establish vacancies and can allocate patients much more quickly to the most appropriate ward.”
Anita Carroll, Assistant Director of Acute Services for the Trust continues: “As the system operates in both Daisy Hill and Craigavon hospitals it is helping to improve how we work as an effective hospital network, allowing us to transfer patients across sites if there are bed pressures. However, the ultimate advantage of FLOW is that it helps us to deliver much safer and higher quality care. Easier access to more accurate information is releasing time for nursing staff to spend on direct patient care and helping to minimise delays in treatment to support effective discharge as soon as the patient is medically fit. ”
Whilst FLOW is now live on all wards, the Trust continues to work with the developer, Aura Healthcare to further improve the system in response to staff feedback. Along with FLOW the Southern Trust has also worked with Aura to develop a clinical noting system and both systems being implemented in a number of Hospitals in the UK and Ireland.
Craigavon Area Hospital
Kay Carroll, Head of Haematology, Catriona Kavanagh, Bed Manager Team Leader, Sister Annette Burrows, Ward 2 North Haematology, Craigavon Area Hospital, Dr Catherine Weaver, Head of ITS Programme Management, Joanne McEvoy, ITS Programme Manager, Anita Carroll, Assistant Director of Acute Services, Southern Health and Social Care Trust with the FLOW patient information System.
Daisy Hill Hospital
Sister Siobhan Rooney, Male Medical and Coronary Care, Daisy Hill Hospital, Siobhan Hanna, Assistant Director of Informatics, Southern Trust, Chris Anderson, Aura Healthcare, Eileen Murray, Head of Service, Medicine and Unscheduled Care, Southern Trust, Mary McConville, Bed Manager, Daisy Hill Hospital.