Electronic system will benefit patients and staff at hospital
Prof Catherine Wall, Consultant Nephrologist & Director of Quality Safety & Risk Management TUH, Prof Martin Curley, HSE Director of Digital Transformation, Mary Hickey, Quality Improvement lead, Elsamma Philip, Clinical Nurse Manager on Osborne Ward and Lucy Nugent Chief Executive of TUH

Electronic system will benefit patients and staff at hospital

TALLAGHT University Hospital is piloting a new electronic system that improves the accuracy of vital signs recording.

The local hospital is leading the roll-out of this new Irish technology, which is being piloted in partnership with the HSE digital transformation team.

The Vital Signs Automation (VSA) project started last week as a pilot on the Osbourne Ward, a combined medical and renal ward in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH).

Taking a patient’s vital signs, temperature, oxygen saturation, heart rate/pulse and blood pressure, is an important part of care.

When monitoring vital signs, hospitals use the National Early Warning Score (NEWS), a guide that determines the degree of illness of a patient and determines how often their vital signs need to be checked.

According to TUH, a change in NEWS can indicate early detection of infection or sepsis, with an increase of the score prompting medical review.

Currently, hospital staff across the country manually calculate the NEWS.

However, the new technology being piloted automatically calculates the early warning score.

Professor Catherine Wall, Consultant Nephrologist and Director of Quality Safety & Risk Management at TUH, said: “Our hospital is always busy with staff required to continuously make decisions about patient care.

“We are open to any innovative use of technology that will benefit our patients.

“The introduction of this technology is another major step in the rollout of the electronic patient record in TUH and an aid to help staff with patient rounds, reducing repetitive data entry and possible errors that may be made.”

Elsamma Phillip, Clinical Nurse Manager on Osbourne Ward where the technology has been launched, has branded the system “really helpful” from a nursing perspective.

“It will save us valuable time in having to write down the observations as they are automatically recorded,” she said.

“There is less chance of error in transcribing the numbers to a patient chart or those being misread by another member of the patient’s care team.

“Giving us, the nurses, valuable time back to spend time with patients.”

According to the HSE, the leading work at TUH is helping to inform a planned deployment of the VSA technology to multiple hospitals across the country.

Professor Martin Curley, Director of Digital Transformation at the HSE, confirmed that the rollout to other hospitals will commence later this year.

TUH was presented with an Our Public Service innovation award to assist with the delivery of the project.

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