A system providing real-time alerts about acute kidney injury patients to staff at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust is being expanded across the trust to reduce delays in specialist care.

The trust became the first to trial the new Notify application from DocCom in September last year.

The medical alert system sends medical staff real-time alerts to their mobile devices if a patient with a specified condition is admitted.

Dr Chris Farmer, the trust’s associate medical director for IT, said there have been cases in the past where a patient had arrived in A&E and had an “unavoidable delay” before they were seen by a specialist in charge of their care.

Farmer said the new system means the appropriate person is informed of a patient’s arrival immediately and can be with the patient within an hour.

At East Kent, different sets of people are alerted if a patient is identified as being in stage one, two or three of AKI. Follow-up alerts let them know about any changes to their condition or whether further blood tests need to be ordered.

Once alerted, the medical team can discuss the next steps via the Careflow social media system of messaging and responding to keep everyone in the loop about a patient’s care and ensure that advice given is documented.

Usage data shows the trust’s 19 renal consultants have had nearly 1300 patient conversations about 521 different patients using the system since last November.

The Notify system, which has also been used for patients with learning disabilities and dementia, has produced 112 alerts with 234 views and 51 comments in the last month.

DocCom managing director Dr Jon Shaw told EHI the trust has purchased an expanded partner licence to roll out the software to about 1000 users.

Shaw said Careflow and Notify are meant to speed up access to information about patients to improve the treatment process and avoid further health complications.

“If you’re in A&E, it could be a couple of hours’ time, if you’re in a ward it could be the end of the day before you start optimising treatment – we want to turn that on its head.”

Shaw said the software can function as something resembling a “real-time EPR”, while its application programming interface allow it to integrate back into an electronic record.

“The whole patient record is a more static thing: there’s an element that never gets recorded because it’s taking place via pagers or switchboards, and we want to create a dynamic on-the-fly record of conversations.”

Shaw said the trust’s expansion of Notify and Careflow will focus on radiology alerts and AKI.