Improving patient outcomes

29/11/2017

A $300,000 community investment is improving patient outcomes at Cairns Hospital.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation contributed the money through donations from the community, towards the overall $1.5 million budget of the vital signs monitors.
Cairns Hospital ieMR clinical leader Cam Stewart said 100 vital signs monitors were bought, as well as software to upgrade a further 100 devices that were already in place.
The monitors use WiFi to transfer a patient’s vital signs or “observations” – temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturations into the patient electronic observation chart.
“The vital signs monitors automatically upload that information into a patient’s electronic medical record – rather than a nurse having to write it down on a chart, or a scrap of paper, or type them manually into the computer,” Mr Stewart said.
“The biggest outcomes are less transcribing mistakes, significant time savings for nurses and we can better identify and track if a patient is deteriorating so we can act more quickly to address that,” he said.
“Already in just three months we’re seeing time savings of up to 2 minutes per set of observations most nurse do 10-12 sets of vital signs a shift, so if you extrapolate that across the whole hospital, there is a lot of time invested back into quality care.”
And a survey of staff who have used the technology indicate almost 90 per cent of them, found it easy to use and more than 70 per cent said they found it saved time.
“At the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where this has been running for 2.5 years, they found in some areas earlier response and recognition of clinical deterioration and we’re very confident that Cairns Hospital will follow that trend.”
The vital signs monitors are being used in most wards of the hospital, with a couple of wards yet to “go live”.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was incredibly heart warming to know that community donations were going to improving patient outcomes.
“This technology is incredible to watch in action and we are confident it will save nurses time, save potential errors and mean better patient care in the long term,” Mr Franz said.

Photo: Cairns Hospital nurse India Talbot and ieMR clinical leader Cam Stewart demonstrate the vital signs technology to Foundation CEO Tony Franz.

 

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