Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has mandated the use of System C’s care co-ordination app for clinical referrals and care co-ordination to help combat Covid-19 transmission. 

All doctors, nurses and care professionals at the trust are using the technology to communicate securely through text and picture messaging, as well as receiving alerts and performing e-handovers.

The trust began rolling out System C’s CareFlow messaging and electronic handovers functionality to doctors in December 2019.

Dr Ajay Verma, consultant gastroenterologist and one of the trust’s CCIOs, said: “We started rolling out CareFlow Connect late last year because it represents an exciting development for patient care – an electronic record of handover provides much wider visibility, is safer and less labour intensive than using old-fashioned paper-based systems.

“Its use has proved invaluable in dealing with Covid-19. Usage in the intensive care unit increased 400% from March to April, during the height of the pandemic, where it was facilitating team handovers by providing up to date clinical summaries accessible away from the bed space.”

Less face-to-face contact reduces the need for changes in PPE, and photos of symptoms can be shared with colleagues off-ward.  Other benefits include the integration of pathology and patient administration systems, so clinicians receive automated, audible alerts on their mobile device when a new positive Covid-19 result is received.

In addition, electronic handovers and referrals are paperless, reducing the risk of paper-borne transmission, while the shared information all links back into the EPR.

The go-live is an important step in Kettering’s 10-year strategy to deploy an integrated electronic patient record (EPR) system, working in partnership with System C.

Andy Callow, chief digital information officer at Kettering, said the trust had already deployed System C’s e-observations functionality across all adult in-patient wards.

“We’re really excited to be following an ambitious digital programme focused on improving both the patient and the staff experience,” he said.

“We are closely working with System C as one of the key enablers of this digital journey and we’re already seeing the benefits.”