Improvements in care and efficiency were reported by staff at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University NHS Trust after it went live with a care co-ordination and electronic referral component.

The trust adopted a phased approach when it came to implementing System C’s CareFlow care coordination app, which is part of its CareFlow EPR, initially rolling it out to the stroke multi-disciplinary team and tissue viability nurses to support collaboration in and between teams. Features of the app include messaging, clinical photos, patient lists, task management, handover and referrals.

Mobile electronic referrals have now replaced paper processes. It used to take up to two days to get a ward referral, but the process is now significantly safer and faster.

Debbie Wickens, lead tissue viability nurse at the trust, said: “Careflow Connect is revolutionising the way we work.  We are able to view the referral details, look at the handover information and wound photo, prioritise patients, create a care plan and make arrangements to see the patient if necessary, all within five minutes.”

Though the app, staff are able to work more efficiently, reserving initial face to face reviews for those who really require them, while stepping up activity on supporting ward staff by conducting more follow-up activities on patients.

The use of task management, with tasks allocated electronically according to the skillset within the team, has also improved efficiency and, by eliminating paper, safety.

By using the CareFlow app, multi-disciplinary teams are able to co-ordinate the care they give. In the stroke team, for example, nurses, AHPs, doctors, physios and language therapists would all be the using the same app, taking advantage of its smart lists and messaging functionalities as well as the ability for users to share rich clinical information via the handover profiles.

The trust is now rolling out the app more widely to care of the elderly, orthopaedics and vascular teams with allied health professionals, pharmacy staff and clinical nurse specialists also being on-boarded.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge will also be rolling out a raft of additional EPR functionality over the coming months in a programme designed to create digital patient pathways and to support clinical teams.