Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has agreed a five-year deal with Nervecentre for its nurse-led observations system.

The implementation will enable staff to capture observations electronically, and calculate early warning scores via mobile devices.

The data captured will also be used to improve handovers, the running of the Hospital at Night, and form part of the trust’s ‘Inspire’ strategy to provide integrated, mobile systems to improve patient care.  

Avey Bhatia, the trust’s chief nurse, said in a statement: “We are currently using manual sheets to record observations and calculate the scores. The legibility of handwriting, and the time it takes to complete the forms increases the risk of errors.

“[Now], the whole process will be automated and available on a mobile device that can be used at the patient’s bedside. This will reduce the chance of errors and enable our nurses to spend more time with patients and less time on administrative tasks.”

Nervecentre was originally developed in Nottingham as a Hospital at Night system. It enabled a nurse co-ordinator to allocate tasks to a multi-disciplinary team, by determining who was best-placed to respond to a call, and sending them information via a smart mobile device.

The system has since been developed by NerveCentre Software to support the hospital-wide management of other tasks, and of handovers and observations.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells has trialled the system on two wards, where Donna Jarrett, the director of health informatics, said it had improved communication within clinical teams.

“The use of mobile technology is crucial in providing our nursing staff with the ability to escalate patient care to the most appropriate clinician in just one click,” she said in a statement.

“At that point, all the relevant information will be with the receiving clinician, leading to a significant improve in the trust’s ability to ‘recognise and rescue’ a deteriorating patient.

“We have already seen an improvement in communication within clinical teams [and] we should be able to react more quickly, should an issue arise.”