NHS Lanarkshire has tested a digital system that helps determine how ill patients are when they arrive at the emergency department and prioritises their treatment accordingly.

The Alcidion Patientrack digital patient observation system has been tested by staff at University Hospital Monklands as part of the digital planning process for a replacement hospital which is planned to open at Wester Moffat in Airdrie in 2031.

Donna McHenry, Monklands Replacement Project redesign lead, said: “The goal is for the new Monklands to be Scotland’s first digital hospital, using systems that allow the most agile technological assistance for patients, staff and visitors.

“That’s why the current Monklands site is leading the way in taking forward digital advances”.

Commenting on Patientrack, Dr Gordon McNeish, emergency medicine consultant at University Hospital Monkland, said: “The new system moves away from using paper charts to record key clinical observations such as blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels and temperature.

“Instead, clinical staff enter these onto iPads as patients arrive in ED and are assessed in cubicles.”

Patientrack automatically calculates a National Early Warning Score (NEWS), which is displayed alongside real-time observations on a large touchscreen monitor in the main clinical area, enabling clinicians to prioritise their patients and determine how frequently observations should be made without having to sort through paper records.

Dr Gautham Balachandran, emergency medicine consultant at University Hospital Monkland, said: “We’re all in agreement that Patientrack has improved awareness of who the sickest patients are – we can see it on the big screen or on our PCs.

“It makes the ED safer for patients and is more efficient for staff working to assess and treat patients as quickly as possible.”

The technology was originally introduced to four wards at the University Hospital Monklands in May 2019 before being rolled out more widely in the hospital in 2020.

The solution has also been deployed in NHS Lanarkshire’s other acute hospitals: University Hospital Hairmyres in East Kilbride and University Hospital Wishaw.