A teaching hospital in Southampton has started to introduce interactive whiteboards in wards to help improve patient safety.

As part of a major digital transformation project, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has started rolling out the whiteboards on the older people’s wards at Southampton General Hospital.

The touchscreen technology displays information taken directly from a patient’s electronic record, including clinical alerts such as existing medical conditions, length of admission and predicted discharge date.

It also acts as a tracking system to identify what is preventing discharge when patients are medically fit to leave hospital.

Previously this information was handwritten on boards when patients were admitted or moved. This required staff to take time out to interpret and re-write a patient’s notes, and increased the risk of inaccuracies during translation.

The project forms part of the trust’s selection as one of 16 acute digital centres of excellence by NHS England, known as global digital exemplars (GDEs).

The trust will receive £10 million in funding – doubling investment in the informatics strategy – to pioneer innovations in information management and technology with the aim of becoming a paperless organisation.

Adrian Byrne, the trust’s director of informatics and chair of the Health CIO Network, said: “This is another important step forward in our drive to enhance the use of digital technology across clinical services.”

“Replacing handwritten notes on whiteboards may not seem revolutionary, but saving the time taken to write up notes repeatedly when patients move and minimising the risk of inaccuracies is a significant development.”

It is hoped the electronic whiteboards will be rolled out across all wards by the end of this year.

Electronic whiteboards have long been seen as a valuable part of going paperfree and implementing an electronic patient record. In 2015, Digital Health News reported that St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust was piloting the use of vital signs monitoring equipment that integrated with its Cerner Millennium EPR and with new whiteboards.