Hospital trust launches novel electronic system for nursing staff

IT experts at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have launched a novel electronic system to help nurses monitor and identify changes in patients’ conditions. 

The electronic patient acuity monitoring system (ePAMS), which will be rolled out across University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust over the next 19 months, enables nursing staff to record patient observations and some assessments without the need for paper charts.

In addition to providing nurses and doctors with accurate and real-time information to review a patient’s progress, the system automatically calculates early warning scores to alert staff to patients who may require urgent intervention to prevent their conditions worsening.

Its introduction reduces the need for nursing staff to transcribe patient data onto paper charts and, as a result, lowers the risk of errors occurring.

“The implementation of an ePAMS will revolutionise the way our nurses collect, process and present patient information, resulting in improved patient care,” said Judy Gillow, director of nursing at UHS.

Neil Pearce, associate medical director at UHS, added: “An ePAMS will contribute to the improvement of patient safety and outcomes.

“It will help to change the current practice from one where we react to a change in patients’ conditions, to one where we can identify changes much sooner and therefore pro-actively prevent problems from developing.”

UHS has been awarded £876,000 by NHS England through the Nursing Technology Fund to launch the project.

The fund, which totals £65million, was established by the Prime Minister in October 2012 to support nurses, midwives and health visitors to make better use of digital technology.

Adrian Byrne, director of information management and technology at UHS said: “The ePAMS project is another exciting development where technology can assist with the improvement of patient outcomes.

“Our IT and clinical teams will be working closely together to implement the ePAMS across the organisation by the end of 2016.”

The funding follows an award of £1.1million from NHS England last year to cover half the cost of a new digital monitoring system for critically ill patients and, more recently, £1.35million to develop a new electronic health records system across the organisation.

For any queries relating to ePAMS, contact Lorna Adams-Jones, project manager, on 023 8120 8180.

Posted on Tuesday 26 May 2015