The recently opened West Cumberland Hospital in Cumbria has gone live with a new computer system for its intensive care unit.

The Metavision system from iMDsoft went live at the site on Tuesday 1 December in a process that was “fairly smooth and uneventful,” according to a spokesperson from North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the hospital.

The system, which links to observation devices to record patient data for patients in intensive care, is already in use at North Cumbria’s Cumberland Infirmary site in Carlisle. There is one database on the system for both sites and clinicians will work with one integrated patient record across both hospitals.  

The trust originally intended Metavision to go live when the hospital opened at the beginning of October, but this had to be delayed to make sure the hospital was ready to use the system.

Speaking to Digital Health News, Dr Mark Holliday said that for the past two months staff on the ICU have been using paper to manage patient information.

The system is now accessible via the computer-on-wheels devices set up in the ICU, which contains six beds. Metavision is colour-coded on each computer to a separate bed so that doctors know they are looking at the relevant data.

Holliday said that he expects one of the main benefits of the system will be the time it will save on handwriting out notes, freeing up clinicians to provide more direct care.

He added that the system can be used to prescribe medicines, meaning that illegible handwriting would no longer be an issue and staff can be sure doses are accurate.

It can also be viewed remotely on laptops so that doctors can monitor patient while in another part of the hospital or at home. Holliday said this was important as Cumbria is a very remote area.

Prior to go-live, staff at West Cumberland Hospital had visited their colleagues in Cumberland Infirmary to see the system in action.

Lars-Oluf Nielsen, chief executive of iMDsoft, said in a statement to Digital Health News: "We are pleased to extend our relationship with NCUH and to take part in the exciting renovation at West Cumberland Hospital.

“MetaVision's advanced technology complements the various innovations the hospital is introducing, with the goals of improving patient safety, reducing errors and increasing efficiency."

Thomas Meek went to see the new West Cumberland Hospital, its improved IT infrastructure, and use of new software in the run-up to Christmas. Read a report of the visit in features.