Out-of-hours software provider Adastra has launched a mobile solution for community nurses.

iNurse enables community nurses to receive their caseload for the day onto a hand-held PDA, which can then be updated during visits and uploaded to the central iNurse database.

Team leaders can also allocate additional visits using the software and cases can also be re-dated, re-assigned and reallocated if necessary.

Adastra said the system has been trialled by NHS Derby City, which estimates it will save up to 15,000 hours of district nursing time per year once it is rolled out across the whole PCT.

Michelle Dixon, district nursing sister at NHS Derby City, said: “Before iNurse the team spent a lot of time travelling back and forth to the office for information and we were constantly interrupted with telephone calls from our liaison team.

"iNurse has improved efficiency greatly for us in both of these areas. Communication is massively improved across the service too. We now record everything electronically so everyone has a full picture.”

Phil Bacon, assistant director of provider services at NHS Derby City, said the pilot that ran between September 2008 and March 2009 had also improved management information at the PCT.

Bacon added: “Management information is key to enabling NHS Derby City Provider Services to compete effectively with other organisations. This pilot has shown that the level of management information iNurse can provide is very comprehensive.”

Nurses in Derby piloting the service used the Motorola MC35, but Adastra says other devices are compatible with the iNurse software.

At a presentation of the company’s results earlier this week, investors heard that iNurse would cost between £1,000 and £1,200 per nurse per year, including the cost of the PDA.

It said the hosted solution was structured for pay-back if it generated one to two extra visits per month; while the pilot found the system was generating one to two extra visits per day.

Jim Chase, Adastra managing director, said district nursing teams had been heavily involved in shaping the iNurse functionality during the NHS Derby City pilot.

He added: “The nurses have been using it daily in real-life situations and they have also had a voice at regular review meetings with NHS Derby City Provider Services management and Adastra’s product specialists.

"Their involvement and enthusiasm has led to a very usable mobile nursing solution providing real benefits.”