Mental health trust employs technology to improve work flows and reduce inefficiency
Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT) has finalised a five-year contract with Cambio Healthcare Systems for a patient flow management (PFM) system in a move to improve hospital efficiency and care quality.
Won in open tender, the deal will see Cambio’s PFM rolled out across all mental health inpatient sites in acute services, including Caludon Centre, St Michael’s Hospital, Stanley and Pembleton wards at the Manor site and Brooklands, a purpose-built 100-bed hospital at Marston Green with six separate specialist units providing inpatient assessment and treatments for adults and children.
Jon Martin, the trust’s solution architect, said the award follows a mini-tender competition in which Cambio came out top.
The move is part of CWPT’s digital strategy, which identified the need to increase efficiencies through technology and replace mostly-paper-based processes to improve work flows.
PFM will work in parallel with the trust’s existing clinical systems and, through this integration, will prevent duplication of information.
It helps actively manage admissions, transfers and discharges to remove inefficiency and hold ups, especially those that prevent patients being discharged on time. And it is shown to reduce the administrative burden on nurses particularly, releasing more time for direct patient care.
With large electronic touchscreens on every ward, staff have an instant ‘at a glance’ view of bed management and patient flow and status across acute, community, elderly and learning disabilities.
“The ability to capture and share real-time information about patients across multi-disciplinary teams will be hugely beneficial to both staff and patients,” said Martin.
“Having an instant picture of patients and their treatment and potential bottlenecks will help to end delays in care, transfers and discharge.”
This is also a landmark deal for Cambio, as its first major new win since acquiring the PFM product last year.
“The concept of using flow principles to improve patient care is gaining real traction, as even small improvements deliver significant savings,’ said Tina Hanlon, Cambio’s general manager and clinical solutions director for patient flow.
“PFM helps drive the patient journey, which leads to better, safer care, while improving work flows is shown to have a direct impact on the efficiency and smooth running of a hospital and staff morale.”
The development is already drawing interest from other NHS trusts and notably other members of the Merit Vanguard programme, a partnership of four mental health trusts in the West Midlands. Together these are developing new ways of working to improve delivery of mental health services.
Martin said PFM will be an important asset in sharing information between Merit Vanguard members to improve communications and continuity of patient care across the region.
Implementation will start later this year. The system will be installed incrementally on a ward-by-ward basis, with only basic information available initially.
“This approach will enable staff to become accustomed to the basic configuration before extra functionality is added,” Martin said.
“This means we are not waiting for staff to master the whole system before we start to accrue benefits and savings. The gains are much more immediate.”