May 03, 2017

In the News: RWT Wins National Award for Pioneering Healthcare Project

Michael Zamagias, David Loughton, Lord Carter of Coles

Michael Zamagias, TeleTracking, David Loughton, RWT, Lord Carter of Coles

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) has won a prestigious national award in recognition of a pioneering healthcare project which has seen on-the-day operation cancellations cut by 60 per cent.

RWT has won the first ever ‘Carter Innovation Award’, awarded by Lord Carter to the Trust or organization which best represents the use of innovation to improve healthcare estates and infrastructure.

The award was presented to RWT Chief Executive David Loughton by Lord Carter at the Hospitals Innovation Conference in London earlier this week.

Judges picked a winner from more than 30 entrants across the UK and looked at RWT’s innovative work using an electronic tracking system known as TeleTracking.

The real-time technology, called TeleTracking, detects electronic badges and bracelets attached to patients, staff and equipment. It provides staff with visibility to all beds, patients, assets and equipment across their trust.

The system gives the Trust real-time information on bed status, patient pathway tracking and asset management.

Similar to air traffic control centers, staff have a real-time view of:

  • bed status
  • which patients need to be allocated to a bed
  • where specific types of equipment are
  • the nearest housekeeping or portering staff available to clean a bed or help transport a patient
  • hand hygiene

Since piloting the project in 2014 patients at the trusts New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton are now three times more likely to get a bed on a ward that matches their need than they were before the system was put in place.

The ground-breaking system has also seen the number of patients on the wrong ward reduced from 3,213 in 2014 to 1,089 last year. Studies show that such patients are likely to have a longer hospital stay, and some suggest that they are more likely to die.

A patient who is incorrectly being cared for on a surgical ward can cause surgery cancellations, because the bed cannot then be used for another patient. The number of operations cancelled on the day at the hospital went down from 386 in 2014 to 124 two years later.

The trust has also reduced breaches of the four-hour A&E treatment target caused by a lack of beds by 35 per cent, despite a 10 per cent increase in people coming to the casualty department.

Bed management at many hospitals is still done on paper, and can involve staff wandering around with a clipboard looking for free beds. The new technology allows managers to see instantly which patients need a bed and which beds are free, as well as identifying the nearest porter to move a patient.

David Loughton, Chief Executive at RWT, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received this award. To have been recognized by Lord Carter and to have been chosen as the recipients of this award in its inaugural year is fantastic.

“As a Trust we are committed to providing safe and effective care, to be kind and caring and to exceed expectation. We have a culture that embraces innovation in the work place and our work with the TeleTracking system has proved groundbreaking, with excellent results across the board. Its success is testament to the commitment and excellence of our staff across the hospital.

“The technology enables staff to see real-time data on beds available within the hospital, enabling patients to be allocated to the most appropriate ward first time, ensuring they receive care from a medical and nursing team who are experts in their particular condition.

“If the NHS is to meet rising demand it must continue to innovate and develop new technologies that enhance and improve patient care. It is great news for our patients that RWT staff are leading the way with this exciting technology.”

Julia Fishman, Vice President Clinical Strategy for TeleTracking, said: “We are delighted to be partnered with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust as a leading example in its adoption of our real-time IT enabled patient flow solutions. The Lord Carter Innovation Award is recognition of the Trust’s hard work to improve quality of care and best practices.”

The Lord Carter report, published in February 2016, highlighted key areas where NHS Trusts could make efficiency and productivity gains and how they could use technology and innovation to best effect in this process. He reported that if hospitals all adopted the best practice for different surgical procedures and treatments, then outcomes for patients would be better and an estimated £5.5 billion could be saved.

He is chair of the review panel examining the future of pathology across the NHS.

The Hospital Innovations event has been has been launched to encourage new ways of working and hopes to bring together key decision makers in hospital management teams who are collectively responsible for the delivery of patient services in the UK.

To read more of this article, click here.

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