Humber NHS Foundation Trust has agreed a deal with BT and TotalMobile to provide hospital staff with a system to view patient records on mobile devices.

BT will provide connectivity, via wireless internet, 3G and 4G, and a secure platform for patient records and scheduling information. TotalMobile will provide flow management software.

Humber, which provides a range of mental health and community services, is currently testing the messaging aspects of the service but expects the first phase of a roll-out to begin in June, with 500 staff predicted to be using the service by September.

Adrian Snarr, Humber’s director of finance, infrastructure and informatics, said the trust wanted a mobile solution to improve management of and access to patient records.

“With more than 3,000 staff operating from 70 sites and many providing services in patient’s own homes, it was essential we were able to digitally capture information at the point of care,” Snarr said.

“This mobile service allows our staff to gain instant secure access to the most up to date information stored on our electronic patient record system. This means our community teams for example, can plan their visits more efficiently and effectively to maximise their time with their patients.”

The project was partly funded by the government’s Nursing Technology Fund, which provided the trust with £493,000 in matched funding.

Lee Rickles, Humber’s head of innovation and programmes, told EHI News the trust chose this particular service as it represented the best value for money and was the most scalable.

Humber also wanted to buy a complete service rather than build its own infrastructure for mobile working, Rickles said.

“Technology can change quickly and it is not worth investing in something that could be obsolete in a couple of years.”

He said iPads will be the main devices used to view records, with the trust considering giving staff access to the devices ahead of the roll-out so that they can get “up to speed” with the technology.

Rickles said the system should improve the effectiveness and efficiency of staff, as well as reducing the stress of administration requirements.

This is the first time that BT has worked with TotalMobile to develop a mobile service for a health organisation.

Northern Ireland-based TotalMobile’s experience in the area includes working with Civica on a pilot offline working solution for the electronic prescribing system at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and a big community mobile project in Bristol.

Ian Dalton, president of global government and health for BT Global Services, said the technology could help address the “huge financial challenges” faced by the NHS.

“Not only can it reduce travel and administration, freeing staff up to spend more time with their patients, but it can empower them to provide the highest quality patient care,” he said.