Nervecentre has been chosen to provide software for an Ireland-wide deal covering emergency departments and unscheduled care services.

Ireland’s Health Service Executive has awarded Cardiac Services a country-wide deal for Acute Floor Information System (AFIS) to support the delivery of acute floor services for unscheduled and emergency care. Cardiac Services has chosen Nervecentre as its software partner.

The implementation will be phased across 40 public hospitals in Ireland. The first go-live, in early 2024, will be at Cork University Hospital Group.

Ronan O’Brien, managing director of Cardiac Services, told Digital Health News key reasons that Nervecentre were selected were its flexibility and mobility.

“When you get into the emergency department it’s very messy, so mobile is very important – there is a huge amount of excitement around that.”

He added: “In Ireland, we haven’t invested in legacy infrastructure; the good news about that is that we can now jump to mobile solutions.”

O’Brien added that interoperability was another important consideration. “Nervecentre talks to anyone, and is really built around integration, and works with existing EPRs or PAS systems.”

Paul Volkaerts, CEO of Nervecentre told Digital Health News, “This deal moves us to a different category, moving from having the technical capability to deploy at scale to having capability that is recognised in the market.

“This puts us into a different category of supplier – trusted to deploy country-wide.”

Providing a single point of access

The vision of Ireland’s Acute Floors programme is that it will provide a single point of access to unscheduled and emergency care services, improving onward access to specialist services and risk assessment, ultimately making the flow of patients more efficient.

Like the UK, Ireland has experienced severe strains on health services during and post-pandemic and a sharp increase in waiting lists.

Integrating emergency departments with injury units, acute medical assessment units, and surgery assessment units will, it is hoped, build seamless and patient-focused care for acute and critically ill patients.

Both Cardiac Services and Nervecentre will play a vital role in delivering the Acute Floors programme by enabling the management of all acute floor patients through their unscheduled care pathway.

Nervecentre’s cloud-based software will make it easy for clinicians to record detailed clinical information quickly on mobile devices and enable rapid triage, assessment and clinical decision-making.

The software will also provide real-time patient flow tracking, including electronic whiteboards.

Each of Ireland’s citizens will have one electronic record across the hospitals in a health region, ensuring information about previous visits is available to clinicians, on whichever acute floor the patient attends.

Nervecentre’s cloud-based emergency department software is currently used in the emergency departments at seven acute NHS trusts in England, including University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. In December 2022, Nervecentre announced that it had been awarded a place on a framework agreement with Digital Health and Care Wales.

O’Brien said that the deal had been a while coming, having been delayed by Covid-19.

“We had some of first meetings back in 2016. This should have been awarded in 2020. The last presentation had been in March 2020 then of course Covid hit. And then the HSE suffered a huge cyber attack that drained a lot of their IT resource.”