Clinicians from NHS Western Isles are using a mixture of iPods, iPads and PCs for patient handovers following the implementation of Cambric’s Cortix patient safety system.

More than 20 users, including consultants, junior doctors and clinical nurses, are using the wireless system, which has replaced traditional handovers based on daily meetings and sharing of paper notes.

Cortix takes feeds detailing basic patient demographic information from the health board’s Topas patient administration system, which is also supplied by Cambric.

The Cortix suite also includes task management applications, patient lists and ward and admission lists.

James Myles, senior nurse for acute services at the Scottish health board, told eHealth Insider that the system was first implemented in a beta form last September, and has been continually developed in conjunction with the company, delivering numerous benefits.

“It has given the handover a lot more structure. It has also reduced the time taken for handovers and the frequency with which these take place, as [clinicians] can pick up that information real time, anywhere in the hospital.

“It provides us with the opportunity to assign tasks to specific individuals within the system to help someone who might have quite a big worklist. The system notifies that individual and it also notifies you when that task has been completed.”

The wireless clinical handover modules uses the situation-background-assessment-recommendation methodology, which is modelled on American military procedures.

It provides clinicians in the Western Isles with a clear structure for handovers, detailing a patient’s essential care information.

Myles said that at the moment Cortix is just being used on hospital wards. However, the board views the system as a long-term project and wants to continue its development.

Dr Jim Ward, NHS Western Isles medical director, said the system had become the “basis for multidisciplinary handover arrangements in the hospital.”

“Effective handover is crucial to patient safety and continuity of care, and this is enabled by Cortix.

"This system, implemented by teams of front line clinicians, working on iPods and utilising wi-fi available in all clinical areas is being used to schedule and record the completion of clinical tasks.”

NHS Dumfries and Galloway and NHS Highland have also purchased unlimited licenses for Cortix.