Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will deploy Servelec’s patient management system, Flow, later this year, after becoming the first community trust to sign up to the software.

Flow will be used by staff throughout the trust to digitally manage the supply and demand of beds.

It is hoped the software will save “significant” time for staff by the replacing manual processes currently used to handle bed management across the wards.

Currently, staff have to ring around hospitals for updates, hand-write notes on whiteboards, and then enter this information into the EPR, all of which poses the risk of data being erroneously mishandled, misplaced or duplicated.

Flow is integrated into the Rio electronic patient record (EPR) system, and staff can enter information into the application directly via a mobile device.

The software is due to go live at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in Autumn 2019.

Sue Flynn, the trust’s head of IM&T, said: “Having digital whiteboards will greatly improve the management of beds across the Trust’s hospitals, enabling best use of beds and effectively shortening the length of stay for patients.”

Somerset Partnership NHS FT has been a Servelec customer since 2001, when it implemented the Rio EPR system.

The organisation also uses Servelec Conexes, a cloud-based interoperability platform that allows data to be shared between IT systems securely.

Flynn explained that Conexes would allow the trust to import information directly into Rio without staff having to duplicate data entry, again freeing up more time to spend with patients.

She said: “This will improve workflows for staff across a wide range of areas. It will also provide a contextual launch into the new Somerset Integrated Digital Electronic Record (SIDeR), a health and social care integrated record solution for Somerset.”

Neil Laycock, managing director of healthcare at Servelec added “We’re thrilled that Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has chosen to implement the solution and in doing so becomes the first community site in England to use Flow.

“By removing that duplication of work, Flow is going to free up clinician time to allow them to look after patients rather than fill in forms and deal with disconnected systems. This naturally leads on to improved patient experience. If professionals are able to get more hands on with the patients in their care, they can be treated safely and more efficiently.”

Marianne Williams, specialist gastroenterology community dietitian at Somerset Partnership NHS FT, received Digital Health’s Outstanding Contribution Award at the 2019 Summer Schools in Leeds last week.