A new point of care data collection system for stroke units is set to go live at four hospitals in the North East this month.

The North of England Cardiovascular Network and NHS North East have jointly funded the development of the Capture Stroke system, which design consultant Digital Spark has developed over the past seven months.

Using Panasonic’s Toughbook CF-H1, the web-based application allows clinicians to input data that can be streamed over a hospital’s wireless network and integrated with its patient administration system.

Michael Bell, strategic director at Digital Spark, said it is a big improvement on the paper-based systems being used.

“Typically, a patient can be admitted through A&E, a nurse can go down and input data in the system, and it will then be available to colleagues immediately,” he said.

“If they have the device with them, and input the data at that time and point of care, it has an immediate reflection on data quality.”

Interaction with staff on stroke wards has been a key part of developing the concept, he added.

“With systems like this there’s always going to be adoption challenges, but because we’ve had a very close relationship with clinicians we will be able to tackle those challenges very well.”

The University Hospital of North Tees will be the first to go-live with Capture Stroke at the end of this month. Stroke Unit ward matron Carol Alexander said it will have a big impact in the way wards operate.

“If you have a glitch, you can put it right there and then, rather than waiting for an audit report. Often you get an audit that is so out of date that the data isn’t really relevant.”

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, North Tyneside General Hospital, and Wansbeck General Hospital will also be piloting the system. The hospitals all use different PAS systems.

The application will be hosted in a data centre at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust Foundation Trust.