Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital is introducing new technology on its wards, which include iPads for doctors and nurses to update patient information on the go.
The hospital was named a Global Digital Exemplar for the NHS in 2016, and received £10 million in Government funding to enable it to make rapid progress in transforming its use of digital technology.
The three-year programme of work, which involves building software with clinicians and rigorous testing and safety checks, is coming to an end and patients will soon start to see changes in the hospital.
Another five wards are now using iPads to update patient information on their ward electronic whiteboards, transfer patients to other areas of the hospital, and discharge patients.
By replacing the physical whiteboard with electronic information, staff can quickly see which patients need an assessment and can prioritise those who are otherwise fit to go home. There are now 10 out of 25 wards using the software.
In the coming months, the process of prescribing medicines will also be digitised. Using portable ‘computers-on-wheels’ or laptops, medicines will be prescribed, administered and reviewed using an electronic drug chart instead of paper notes at the end of patients’ beds.
Another new advancement coming to the hospital is an app for patients referred for weight management treatment.
The hospital has been making strides behind the scenes as well, making outpatient departments digital to start recording patient information electronically so that all their information is in one place and can be accessed quickly when needed.
Mr Tom Edwards, consultant surgeon and chief clinical information officer at Musgrove Park Hospital, has told Tone News: “Fast access to information about patients is absolutely crucial for our doctors, nurses, and other clinical staff. Safe and effective digital systems are vital.
“Safety alerts will be immensely useful, but it is important to remember that, whatever technology we use, it will still be our highly trained and expert staff who are making decisions about diagnosis, treatment and patient care.”