Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has implemented new software to reduce the misuse of medical devices in its hospitals.

The trust is the first in the UK to make use of Melvis, a tool designed by PinBellCom to provide real-time information on the training of staff in certain pieces of medical equipment.

Melvis links the hospital’s equipment database with the NHS electronic staff record and the training records of staff members so that records update automatically with changes in staffing or equipment.  

Ward sisters and managers can keep track of the location of each device and the training levels of staff who have access to it, as well as when training needs to be renewed.

Shona Michael, head of clinical engineering at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, told Digital Health News that the trust began searching for a system to do this job three years ago. Hospital regulations require the organisation to be able to show its staff members are competent to use medical equipment.

She explained that the trust chose to work with PinBellCom after assessing a number of technologies in use at other trusts.

These included complicated Excel spreadsheets, which Michael dismissed as “difficult to keep up to date”, while in-house systems designed by trusts were also rejected due to the difficulties in reviewing data on a regular basis.

Michael described Melvis as a “real step forward” as it was able to join ESR and the equipment database.

“It’s a problem that hasn’t been well solved from a technological point of view until now,” she said.

“Now we can see that the staff on ward 50 are able to use the equipment on ward 50.”

Leeds staff are able to access Melvis via the trust’s intranet. Different levels of access can be granted so, for example, ward managers can see all the information from their ward and directorate managers can see their directorate.

Although it is still early days for the system, Michael said that training compliance is improving.

The next step is to begin monitoring adverse incident data and use that to focus training.

“We haven’t changed training practice yet, we are just recording it properly.”

Following the launch of the software at Leeds,  PinBellCom said it plans to roll out Melvis across further trusts and is currently in talks with ten in the UK. This includes Barts Health NHS Trust.