Staff at Bradford Hospitals NHS Trust now send for supplies from handheld computers which also enable them to keep track of orders and deliveries and manage stock.

The new system, called WANDER, which has been designed and developed by KPMG Consulting with Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, was launched officially this week by health minister, Lord Hunt. He said there were considerable benefits to be gleaned from the use of mobile technology.

KPMG Consulting research suggests that the system has the potential to support and sustain £200m worth of savings per year for the NHS in England if it is used as part of trust-wide supply chain improvement programmes.

Bradford’s chief nurse and director of hospital services, Rose Stephens, said, “WANDER is a simple, practical tool that lets us get on with the job we joined the NHS to do: caring for patients. It’s a great example of how technology helps us to cut administration and do our jobs better.”

She said the system enforced the use of a standardised catalogue ensuring that the same range of products was available in all departments. This product compliance would not only lead to savings of tens of thousands of pounds but also reduce clinical risk, Ms Stephens explained.

The mobile computers used in wards and theatres are very much the tip of an iceberg of modernisation. The ordering system is part of a change that will have effects right across the supply chain. Full implementation will see requisitions go through to suppliers in a paperless, automated process.

KPMG Consulting’s director of healthcare practice, Gary Howe explained to E-Health Insider that further applications are also planned in clinical support and near-patient support.

”There are several applications planned that we are very excited about,” he said.

WANDER will create a platform on which a variety of applications can run.
“People using it will have the same interface irrespective of which applications they are using,” said Mr Howe.

Work started at Bradford 15 months ago and the system has been in use in its pilot phase since February. Mr Howe said two more sites were starting a roll-out and that the response to the Bradford pilot had been tremendous.