NHS Trust Gets More Efficient With Vodafone Patient Mobile Platform

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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District nurses can spend more time with patients thanks to Vodafone deployment which reduces amount of travelling and paperwork

Health workers at the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust are being supplied with mobile devices so they can spend less time in the office and more time in the field caring for patients.

The Trust is working with Vodafone to allow district nurses to update patient records and view daily visiting schedules remotely, reducing the amount of time spent travelling and filing paperwork.

The new system is powered by Total Mobile’s healthcare application, which works on a variety of mobile devices and platforms, and is integrated with RiO, the Trust’s patient record platform.

Vodafone NHS mobility project

The NHS logo on a signIt is expected that the system could eventually offer a range of additional benefits, such as reduced clinical risk, increased accuracy of patient information and a reduction in the time spent performing admin tasks.

Research suggests that health workers spend an average of one day a week on admin, resulting in frustration, longer working hours and less time with patients.

Tablets have been issued to 245 staff in the Brent, Ealing and Harrow district nursing teams, and the response has been positive.

“This is a wonderful new way of working as now, before I arrive at a patient’s house, I have been able to read the patient’s notes and have all their details to hand, including how to contact their GP,” says Fiona Murray, a nurse who has been using the system since it launched in October.

“In the past, I just had the patient name and details of care that I needed to provide. To be so informed before you meet a patient, really improves the care you can provide. The system also allows me to order equipment; I can discuss the patient’s needs with them and if equipment is required to make their home life easier, I can order it there and then.”

Efficient healthcare

Research commissioned by Vodafone revealed that 70 percent of healthcare leaders believe technology will improve care outside hospitals by providing access to real time data and digital tools, especially at a time when budgets are being cut.

“Mobile working provides an opportunity to modernise and develop more streamlined services, making better use of valuable resources,” adds Shelly Roberts, mobile working project manager at the Trust. “The implementation of mobile working is long awaited by community services and it has been great to see the excitement across the service as the solution has been rolled out.”

Patients should soon be able to gain access to their own medical records online through dedicated applications, starting next year. Currently, just four percent of records are accessible on the web, but NHS chiefs are confident of a full rollout by 2018.

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