St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has revealed how the use of innovative technology is helping staff spend more time with patients and allowing clinicians to provide even safer, more efficient care.

The organisation, which is entering the final year of its three-year digital strategy, has introduced various initiatives including digital nursing forms, which have saved 20 minutes of admin time per admission, in turn freeing up thousands of hours per year that can now be spent with patients.

Overall there have been over 2.3 million digital patient observations, and 765,000 digital handovers have been completed. In addition, 1,200 mobile devices are keeping clinicians throughout the trust connected and enabling them to access and share crucial patient information on the go.

Celia Jukka, ward manager on the diabetes and endocrinology medical ward at the trust, has confirmed that there have been noticeable time-saving benefits and positive feedback from patients and staff alike.

She said: “We now have 90% of our documentation digitised, which is so beneficial for the ward as everything is in one place, and everyone – nursing staff, doctors, visiting staff – can see that it’s online.

“The patients have responded brilliantly as they experience such good continuity of care, and they also appreciate the fact that nurses have more time to spend with them. Also, if you move to a new ward all the information is on the computer so that it can be followed up.”

St Helens and Knowsley has been using System C’s CareFlow electronic patient record (EPR) since 2018, following a 10-year deal agreed with the supplier in 2017 that would see a new EPR and Medway patient administration system (PAS) implemented at the trust.

Since the EPR launch, the trust has rolled out several modules in order to be better equipped at handling all aspects of patient care, safety and flow.

All of the work over the last few years, particularly since the trust’s digital strategy was set out in 2020, has played a part in cutting admin time and freeing up space in the day for clinicians to spend with patients.

Peter Williams, medical director at the trust, said: “I’m delighted to see all the progress that’s been made in the last 12 months on our digital maturity programme that has allowed our clinicians better access to information about their patients.

“We are working more efficiently, and it has empowered everyone to further improve the quality of care that we deliver.

 “As we move into the last 12 months of the trust’s digital strategy, we will continue the journey we started in 2020 – working together to deliver more innovative digital technology to support five-star patient care.”