Published on 9 December 2019
Hospital staff have used technology and teamwork to create an award-winning project to improve patient safety.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine chose the scheme by a team from East Kent Hospitals as the winner of the Emergency Department Patient Safety Project of the Year at a ceremony in London on Thursday, 5 December.
It involved staff from the Trust’s pathology, IT and the information team as well as from the emergency department to improve the way test results are communicated to doctors.
Edmund Lamb, Clinical Director of Pathology, said the initiative meant patients could receive critical results more quickly.
He said: “Previously, we have relied on telephoning urgent results to doctors in the emergency department, but sometimes because of the nature of their jobs, they are unable to answer their phones.
“This can lead to a delay in communicating the results, and ties up staff time in the pathology department as we keep trying to get hold of the medical teams.
“The new system we developed means results are transmitted electronically to the patient tracking boards and they will flash until a clinician physically acknowledges they have seen them.”
Some of the results highlight potentially life-threatening conditions so it is crucial they are seen by doctors as soon as possible.
Syed Gilani, Emergency and Urgent Care Group Clinical Director, said the whole team was delighted with the award.
He said: “It is always good to receive recognition but what is more important is that by working together across disciplines, from IT and information to pathology and the emergency department, we have been able to make a real difference to our patients.
“The scheme means doctors can spend more time treating patients, and can make sure they receive the right treatment at the right time because they will have the most up-to-date information about their condition.”
Rich Ewins, the Trust’s Head of Information Development, said it was a rewarding project to be involved with.
He said: “It was good to have the opportunity to work with clinicians from different specialisms to develop a project that directly impacts patient care.
“We have been able to use technology and information in a way that will help medical staff provide the best care for our patients and being able to make that difference is at the heart of everything we do.”