An e-observations system at a northern trust has cut high-risk admissions, calls to the emergency team and time spent performing observations.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust went live with Patientrack on mobile devices across 55 wards in January last year. In October, it deployed the system in its A&E department.

Patientrack is an e-observations technology that is used on iPads at the trust. Clinicians record vital signs and this information is used to calculate a patient’s early warning score.

Rowan Pritchard-Jones, consultant plastic reconstructive surgeon at the trust, told Digital Health News the technology was a “chance to harmonise everybody working in exactly the same way”.

“By automating something that was quite a clunky, albeit necessary, paper system, it’s driving that combination of both efficiency and most importantly, patient safety.”

Since deployment in inpatient wards in January last year, the high-risk admissions to the trust’s critical care unit fell from 10% to 5%. Calls to the medical emergency team has fallen by a fifth and there has been a two thirds reduction in time spent conducting observations.

Pritchard-Jones said that Patientrack also solved the problem of illegible notes, and gave an overview across the ward.

Some challenges during the deployment came from small patches of the hospital having a lack of wi-fi, said Pritchard-Jones.

Pritchard-Jones said St Helens and Knowsley is also keen to push the technology forward to include fluid balance charts.

“I want to see our iPads bursting at the seams with processes to support patient care.”

Patientrack is also used at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where the trust has developed the tool to pick up specific problems such as sepsis and acute kidney injury.

NHS Fife, in Scotland, also reported a significant reduction in cardiac arrests post deployment of Patientrack.

Donald Kennedy, managing director of Patientrack, said in a statement, the St Helens and Knowlsey deployment was a “compelling example of an NHS trust taking the initiative with innovative technology to make important advances in patient safety”.

The trust is based across two sites at Whiston and St Helens Hospital, and has a workforce of 7000 staff.

Digital Health Intelligence maintains a database of the administrative and clinical systems in use at trusts, and uses this to calculate a clinical digital maturity index score for them (log-in required). St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has a score of 81 and is ranked 43 (out of 153 acute trusts).