The Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, Merseyside, has installed a wireless nursing information system that allows bedside access to patient records.

The system, from IMS MAXIMS, makes a large amount of data available to nurses through computer terminals and a wireless connection. All clinicians using the system can access it through a security key and update and view details including all admission documents, medications, and also demographics and lifestyle habits.

It also interfaces with the hospital’s patient administration system and radiotherapy scheduling system, so full details to the clinical record can be accessed.

Anne Bedford, training manager at CCO, said that some nurses had initial teething troubles but are now extremely positive about the system: “Moving some staff from a situation of being terrified of computers to becoming real advocates of ‘their’ system, even to the point of requesting modifications to get more out of it, has been enormously satisfying and shows a real buy-in to the system."

“The feedback is tremendous from the wards that have been operational the longest. They can now see the benefits the system is producing first-hand," she added.

Angela Dawe, who manages the project at Clatterbridge and is on secondment from Wirral Health Informatics Service, said: “Our paper care plans are now templates on the system allowing instant access by any of the multi-disciplinary team.  There’s no more chasing around for incomplete or illegible notes."

“Everyone has access to the full picture and can see the exactly what has been done by whom and when, and can then make informed decisions based on the latest information."

Angela Dawe said that the system will be expanded: “The next step is to fully populate the electronic patient record and build trust-wide Integrated Care Pathways.  Also we would like to develop a care of the dying module, which will be very important for our palliative care patients."