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Found 38 results
  1. News Article
    The Health Foundation will begin exploring the impact of data analytics and technology on health and care in the UK. The independent charity has launched its Data Analytics for Better Health strategy, which aims to tackle real-world problems that affect people’s health and develop a greater understanding of the role that technology and data plays in daily life. The strategy sets out how the Health Foundation aims to help policymakers, practitioners and the wider public get to grip with “seismic changes” taking place in the health sector. Dr Adam Steventon, Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: “Data is being used to drive innovation in ways that can revolutionise health care, including early disease detection, easier access to care services and encouraging health promoting behaviours. But such technological advances also carry the risk of harm to patients. As a nation we need to advance our understanding of these fast-moving changes. This new programme of work will help us to do that, enabling us to explore how analytics and data-driven technology can create better heath and care for people across the UK.” Read full story Source: Digital Health, 6 February 2020
  2. News Article
    In a keynote speech at the Healthtech Alliance on Tuesday, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, stressed how important adopting technology in healthcare is and why he believes that it is vital for the NHS to move into the digital era. “Today I want to set out the future for technology in the NHS and why the techno-pessimists are wrong. Because for any organisation to be the best it possibly can be, rejecting the best possible technology is a mistake.” Listing examples from endless paperwork to old systems resulting in wasted blood samples, Hancock highlights why in order to retain staff and see a thriving healthcare, embracing technology must be a priority. He also announced a £140m Artificial Intelligence (AI) competition to speed up testing and delivery of potential NHS tools. The competition will cover all stages of the product cycle, to proof of concept to real-world testing to initial adoption in the NHS. Examples of AI use currently being trialled were set out in the speech, including using AI to read mammograms, predict and prevent the risk of missed appointments and AI-assisted pathways for same-day chest X-ray triage. Tackling the issue of scalability, Hancock said, “Too many good ideas in the NHS never make it past the pilot stage. We need a culture that rewards and incentivises adoption as well as invention.” Read full speech
  3. Content Article
    In this series of case studies, CQC highlight what providers have done to take a flexible approach to staffing. The case studies show different ways of organising services. They focus on the quality of care, patient safety, and efficiency, rather than just numbers and ratios of staff. They illustrate how providers have redesigned services to make the best use of the available range of skills and discipline or they found new ways to work with others in the local health and care system. Safe, effective staffing is about having enough people with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time. It's about team work, not silo working. It's about developing staff to support each other in new roles - making sure patients follow the smoothest possible journey on their care pathway.
  4. News Article
    Astrophysics and dermatology are colliding through a new research project led by the University of Southampton – with potentially lifesaving consequences. The project, dubbed MoleGazer, will take algorithms used for detecting exploding stars in astronomical imaging data and develop them to be used to spot changes in skin moles and, therefore, detect skin cancer. MoleGazer, led by Professor Mark Sullivan, Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University, and Postdoctoral Researcher Mathew Smith, has been awarded a Proof of Concept Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). It is the first time the University has won such a grant. Currently, patients at high risk of developing skin cancer are photographed at regular intervals and a consultant visually compares images to detect changes. MoleGazer could automate this process, potentially leading to earlier diagnoses and improved survival rates. “It’s a really exciting project that came along from nowhere,” added Professor Sullivan. “It also highlights the importance of blue sky science – curiosity-driven scientific research will always have a fundamentally important role to play.” Read full story Source: University of Southampton, 10 January 2020
  5. Content Article
    Summit objectives: to foster connections and support networking across the Alliance to surface key issues that are top of mind to Alliance leaders to support capacity around personal, organisational, and industry leadership to promote discussion and activities that foster and advance courageous, creative, collaborative leadership across the network to inform and advance the direction of engagement, collaboration, and collective action opportunities across the Alliance network.
  6. Content Article
    Paper observation charts are now a thing of the past where I work. Gone are the days of charting your patients’ blood pressure and pulse in the tiniest of boxes. So small you could barely see the date and time of day at the top. Often, the chart looked as if it had been filled in by a spider with inky feet, sometimes it was sticky from medication that had been spilt on it (or sometimes worse). It would be passed from one clinician to another, a little ragged round the edges. Nurses had to remember when to do the next set of observations according to the National Early Warning Score (NEWS). As for auditing observations to ensure we were adhering to national guidance for the whole hospital… forget it. We had been use to this for years. But now we have a new chart in town… e-obs. This is going to solve all our problems. At the click of a button you have a clean, legible, fully completed observation chart. Each patient would have followed the NEWS escalation as the ‘electronic system’ would remind the nurse to complete the next set of observations at the correct time. Auditing would be a few clicks away. How many patients are scoring 5 or more? Who and where are the sickest patients? Which wards are not adhering to national policy? It is all there. This is a terminal case of ‘work as imagined’. Firstly, lets clear this up. Just because a patient is scoring a NEWS score of over 5 does not mean they are the sickest of patients. Many patients who are deteriorating, especially the younger population, score lower than 5. Patients in acute kidney injury often do not score at all but may require a trip to the intensive care unit. Do not be fooled by the NEWS score. NEWS is but a number. We must look holistically at our patients and not rely on looking at just numbers. I would like to share something that happened the other day that highlights some of the pitfalls of using an electronic observation system. I am a junior doctor on an elderly care ward. One of my patients became acutely unwell at 10pm on a Sunday evening. He couldn’t breathe, his NEWS was 9, he looked and sounded awful. I thought he was going to die. The medial emergency team came. They gave him suction, the chest physiotherapist came, they changed his antibiotics. He got a little better. His NEWS went down to 4. How did this happen? Surely, he didn’t suddenly get this unwell. He was doing well the day before. I looked at his observations. They were documented beautifully on the screen. Very clear. However, he hadn’t had his obs taken for 12 hours despite his last NEWS score was 3 (this means obs need to be taken again 4–6 hours later). Why didn’t the electronic system alert the nurses to take the obs? This is a forceable function of the system? This is why we changed to an electronic system in the first place… to prevent this type of harm from happening. So, what happened? The patient had been scoring 0 for the last few days. This means that obs can be taken every 12 hours. The patient then scored 3. His oxygen saturations had dropped. As he was ‘stable’ the nurse then changed the profile of when the next set of observations were taken. Instead of the default setting of 4–6 hourly, they had set it for 12 hourly again. This is against national guidance. Profile changes are taught to the nurses and doctors when being inducted to the e-obs system. This is important to know especially if the patient is dying, off the ward or having a blood transfusion, post op etc... This means that the patient will get their observations taken at the right time depending on what is going on. Instead, the nurse had changed the profile so that the patient received less monitoring. What was the reason for this? Was it because he had been so stable before, that they thought he didn’t require more frequent observations? Was it due to ward pressures – they didn’t have time to do that frequency of obs? What ever the reason. Its against national guidance and this ‘safe system’ has allowed us to do so. There is also another problem at play here. Take another example. A patient is receiving 12 hourly observations. They are stable. What happens when the patient may ‘look unwell’ or they complain of pain or breathlessness? You take another set of observations. The trouble is. They are not due. The system won’t let you ‘log them’. Not only is this frustrating, it also takes away intuition and assessing your patient from the bedside. We cannot be complacent. Looking at numbers on a screen is not an indicator on how well your patient is. Paperless, automated systems are brilliant. They will revolutionise healthcare, it will make care safer. We have to be mindful that these are early stages. There will be problems along the way. I just wish that there was some user testing before they rolled e-obs out. Healthcare staff will take short cuts, will do unexpected things, won't always realise these consequences. Yes, it would have cost money, it would have taken time but, if they had user tested this with real staff, perhaps this man may not have suffered?
  7. Content Article
    The study analysed whether the system generated clinically valid alerts and its estimated cost savings associated with potentially prevented adverse events. These alerts were compared to alerts in the CDS system, using a random sample of 300 alerts selected for medical record review. Findings showed a total of 10,668 alerts during the five-year period. Overall, 68.2% of the alerts would not have been generated by the existing CDS system. Ninety-two percent of a random sample of the chart-reviewed alerts were accurate based on structured data available in the record, and 80% were clinically valid. The estimated cost of adverse events potentially prevented in an outpatient setting was more than $60 per drug alert and $1.3 million when extrapolating the study’s findings to the full patient population.
  8. News Article
    As part of the HTN Health Tech Trends Series, Health Tech Newspaper has researched a variety of health tech projects making a difference across health and care. Read full story Source: Health Tech Newspaper, 5 December
  9. News Article
    MedAware, a developer of AI-based patient safety solutions, has announced the publication of a study by The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, validating both the significant clinical impact and anticipated ROI of MedAware's machine learning-enabled clinical decision support platform designed to prevent medication-related errors and risks. The study analysed MedAware's clinical relevance and accuracy and estimated the platform's direct cost savings for adverse events potentially prevented in Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's Hospitals' outpatient clinics. If the system had been operational, the estimated direct cost savings of the avoidable adverse events would have been more than $1.3 million when extrapolating the study's findings to the full patient population. Dr David Bates, study co-author, Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Center for Patient Safety Research & Practice at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said: "Because it is not rule-based, MedAware represents a paradigm shift in medication-related risk mitigation and an innovative approach to improving patient safety." Read full story Source: CISION PR Newswire, 16 December 2019
  10. News Article
    A hospital trust believes it is the first in the UK to introduce disposable sterile headscarves for staff to use in operating theatres. Junior doctor Farah Roslan, who is Muslim, had the idea during her training at the Royal Derby Hospital. She said it came following infection concerns related to her hijab that she had been wearing throughout the day. It is hoped the items can be introduced nationally but NHS England said it would be up to individual trusts. Ms Roslan looked to Malaysia, the country of her birth, for ideas before creating a design and testing fabrics. "I'm really happy and looking forward to seeing if we can endorse this nationally," she said. Consultant surgeon Gill Tierney, who mentored Ms Roslan, said the trust was the first to introduce the headscarves in the UK. "We know it's a quiet, silent, issue around theatres around the country and I don't think it has been formally addressed," she said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 19 December 2019
  11. News Article
    Royal Cornwall Hospital has deployed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that allows clinicians to view case videos safely and securely. Touch Surgery Enterprise enables automatic processing and viewing of surgical videos for clinicians and their teams without compromising sensitive patient data. These videos can be accessed via mobile app or web shortly after the operation to encourage self-reflection, peer review and improve preoperative preparation. James Clark, consultant upper gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon at the trust, said: “Having seamless access to my surgical videos has had an immense impact on my practice both in terms of promoting patient safety and for educating the next generation of surgeons." Read full story Source: Digital Health, 28 November 2019
  12. News Article
    A mobile app designed by a patient is helping people with breast cancer prepare for the start of radiotherapy. The treatment requires them to raise their arm above their head, but patients often find that difficult or painful after breast surgery. Exercises are important but Karen Bonham said leaflets giving details did not help her enough. So she helped create the app to offer exercise videos and medics say it is helping more women be ready on time. Staff at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff say they have noticed fewer patients needing urgent referral for physiotherapy ahead of the treatment since the "Breast Axilla Postoperative Support app", or BAPS App, was launched in February. Kate Baker, clinical lead physiotherapist at Velindre, who helped devise the app, said: "Previously, we've always handed out information on exercises in a leaflet, that patients would be given by a physiotherapist and taken home. But often these pieces of paper get lost and they're not followed through. "What we wanted to do was provide exercises, physical activity advice and further information in an app format, which would allow individuals to have it with them at all times." Donna Egbeare, breast surgeon at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, who was also involved in developing the bilingual app, said the impact of being able to start radiotherapy on schedule was significant. Read full story Source: BBC News, 27 November 2019
  13. Content Article
    This initiative was set up by theatre nurse, Carol Menashy, Chase Farm Hospital, the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust. It is a fun game to get staff in the operating theatre to really think about cost and wastage within theatres. While playing the game – Twist and Shout, by the Beatles is played. Attached are some fun exercises with shopping lists for various procedures where teams vie to get the closest estimate to the actual cost. Worked out by senior staff. Nearest team wins a box of toffees. Also, we do a cost awareness exercise audit fun day. Monthly audit of the cost buster bin where out of date items or items opened in error is audited monthly to see how much we are wasting and aiming to improve. The bin is placed inside the stock room. Here are some template questions you could use or make up your own depending on what surgeries you undertake. I'd love to hear from anyone who tries it out or from anyone who has similar initiatives.
  14. Content Article
    This report covers research that has been conducted by NHSX and a great number of partners across the digital health ecosystem into: What AI is and where it's being used. How to govern AI. How to protect patient safety. How to support the workforce. How to encourage adoption and spread. The results of this research ultimately lead us to the conclusion that the creation of the Lab will be essential if we are to capitalise on the opportunities identified, whilst mitigating the risks.
  15. Community Post
    We are looking into introducing a new device to deliver CPAP at ward level into our trust. Currently we use NIPPY machines which can deliver some PEEP when in a selected mode, however the downfall to this is, it can only produce an oxygen concentration of around 50%. Often, the patient groups that require this intervention are on high oxygen requirements and so particularly in the early stages would benefit from a device that could deliver both. I have previously worked with Pulmodyne 02-Max trio which allows up to 90% oxygen and PEEP up to 7.5cmH20. Majority of patients responded very well to this treatment. I wondered whether any other trusts/ team have any other experiences/ devices that they may use and recommend? @Danielle Haupt@Claire Cox@Emma Richardson@Mandy Odell@PatientSafetyLearning Team@Patient Safety Learning@Patient safety Hub@CCOT_Southend
  16. Content Article
    I am a GP in Northampton and for some time, around 2006, I was concerned that my practice did not have a robust system for monitoring patients on dangerous drugs such as methotrexate and azathioprine. We tried to keep a manual database for our patient register, but with patients stopping and starting these drugs, moving in and out of the practice, and needing different tests at different time intervals, it was a really difficult task, and I suspected that we were missing patients and, therefore, it was hard to keep track of who needed reminding regarding tests. I tried working with my Practice Manager to create a more sophisticated spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, then when that failed, within Microsoft Access. Again, we kept on coming across problems and I knew we hadn’t cracked the problem yet. Then I started talking to Tim – Tim is an IT software developer and, while we were watching our children’s swimming lesson, I was explaining to him the complexities of what I was trying to achieve, and he immediately took up the challenge and promised to write me a bespoke programme. Two years later and many Sunday afternoons spent drinking oodles of cups of tea, Neptune was created. We have been successfully running Neptune in my GP surgery since 2008, following which we introduced it to four beta testing sites. The system worked remarkably well from the start and very quickly we expanded to other local practices. Over the past 2 years we have been fortunate enough to roll out across the whole of Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)(approximately 100 GP practices). Neptune’s success lies in its simplicity. It is a relational database that stores information about as many drugs as you would like, such as generic and brand name, BNF category and what monitoring tests are required. It uses three simple reports from the GP practice system to upload patient, drug and testing information and then puts this all together into a reminder list and either prints reminder letters, sends an email through a secure nhs.net account or produces an SMS text alert via MJOG. If the patient does not respond to their reminder, then a second reminder and then a third reminder is sent, with the final reminder being an alert to the prescribing GP. Like all new developments, we have faced a few challenges along the way. Not least was how to roll out to 100 practices in Leeds which is a long way from Northampton. We brought other members on to our team, and now have two trainers and two other software support as well as me and Tim. We love going into GP practices and seeing how everyone has tackled this problem differently, or not at all in some places. We have found, in general, the better the system already in place, the more Neptune is appreciated as the practice already appreciates what a difficult task this is. Neptune continually evolves and we love to change according to user feedback. We are now on to version 4, with version 5 just around the corner. Our current project is to include not just CCG defined amber drugs for the Near Patient Testing Direct Enhanced Service, but all drugs that require monitoring such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors and thyroid drugs. This will increase the patient population that Neptune monitors considerably, but the impact on patient safety will be immeasurable and, hopefully, will improve safety, reduce hospital admissions and, ultimately, iatrogenic harm and even death. We would love to roll out Neptune to as many practices as possible as we believe this is the best, most accurate and efficient way of performing this challenging task.
  17. Content Article
    This special issue focuses on the role of technology and innovation in patient experience and includes editorials, commentaries, personal narratives, research articles and a case study.
  18. Content Article
    HUH Action Cards were initially developed made from plastic and guided nursing teams on recognition and treatment. This improved tenfold, with 100% of patients being identified and treated for sepsis according to the CQUINN. However, the challenges of these cards included infection control of cards, becoming worn and heaviness of lanyards. An App was then planned in collaboration with BD. This App would be much more user friendly, dynamic and would have increased functionality. Challenges included getting stakeholders on board with this, considering that this concept started at 'grass-root' level nursing and also whether this would be suitable with our IT systems and firewalls. Further ideas were put together about making this not just nursing orientated, but for medical staff and allied professionals, incorporating IV guides, micro-guides and toxbase to name a few along, with standard operating procedures and resuscitation guidelines. This would be a 'one stop shop' for all things, and would "save 2 minutes” to spend with our patients as oppose to searching for a computer or dealing with slow departmental systems.