EHI Awards 2011: the winners

A system that helps NHS hospitals to reduce the length of time that patients spend in them while improving their care scooped the top prize in the EHI Awards 2011 in association with BT last night.

The system, developed by RealTime Health in the US, has been piloted by West Middlesex University Hospital in the UK.

It combines a clinical process methodology with a patient flow management and decision support software product, to help clinical teams work together to make sure that patients are clinically ready for discharge at the earliest possible moment.

The three month pilot at the West Middlesex was so successful that it allowed two wards to be closed, freeing up resources to be used elsewhere.

Linda Davidson, the co-director of eHealth Insider, said: “We often hear concerns that the massive efficiency savings that the NHS will have to make over the next four years will inevitably put more stress on staff and lead to worse care for patients.

“This is a brilliant example of how technology can be used to both save time and money and make care better. It is exactly this kind of innovation that the EHI Awards were set up to celebrate; and inspire others to adopt as well.”

The winners of the EHI Awards 2011 in association with BT were unveiled at a black-tie dinner in London’s Covent Garden last night, hosted by comedian Sean Lock.

A project to give midwives in Portsmouth digital pens linked to BlackBerry devices so they can take notes and log them electronically while they were working was also highly commended by the judges asked to pick an overall winner. The category winners were:

Most promising IT for GP-led commissioning: GPC+, NHS South of Tyne and Wear

Best use of social media in healthcare: Interactive health services by digital TV and mobile phone, NHS Sefton

Outstanding work in IT-enabled change in healthcare: Keyworker alerts, Pan-Birmingham Cancer Network and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

Best use of telehealth and telecare: TelePulmonary Rehabilitation, NHS 24

Innovation in healthcare interoperability: SALUS/RAPA – using a shared system to improve inter-organisational co-operation, Plymouth NHS ICT Shared Services

Best use of IT to promote patient safety: A clinical handover solution for the UK acute sector, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust and Ascribe Consulting

Best use of mobile technology in healthcare: Digital pens and BlackBerry smartphones at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Paper IQ and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Excellence in major healthcare IT development: Innovative use of technology delivers improved choice and access, InferMed and NHS Direct / Scottish Care Information – Diabetes Collaboration (SCI-DC), NHS Tayside

Healthcare IT product innovation: Reducing length of stay in acute hospitals using RealTime, RealTime Health

Finally, the Healthcare IT Champion of the Year, nominated and voted for by EHI readers, was James Norman, IT director of Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.


Jim Gabriel, chief executive of RealTime Health, will be speaking about its work in the EHI Awards Theatre at EHI Live 2011.

The theatre is a new feature at EHI Live 2011 that has been created to give some of the winners and runners-up in EHI's own awards the opportunity to talk about their projects; and to let visitors ask questions about them.

EHI Live 2011 is a two day conference and free exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham from 7-8 November. Registration is open now.

Last updated: 6 October 2011 17:35

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