Electronic whiteboards used to improve patient safety

Staff at Southampton’s teaching hospitals are introducing interactive whiteboards on wards as part of a major digital transformation project that aims to improve patient safety.

The whiteboards display information taken directly from a patient’s electronic record. It also acts as a tracking system to identify what is preventing discharge when patients are well enough to leave hospital.

Previously this information was written on boards by hand when patients were admitted or moved to wards, which required staff to take out time to interpret and rewrite a patient’s notes and increase the risk of inaccuracies during translation.

It is hoped the rollout will be completed throughout the hospital by the end of the year.

It forms part of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s selection as one of 16 digital centres of excellence by the Department of Health, known as global digital exemplars.

The trust will receive £10 million for the four-year project to pioneer innovations in information management and technology with the aim of becoming a paperless organisation.

Adrian Byrne, director of informatics, said: “This is another important step forward in our drive to enhance the use of digital technology across clinical services.

“Replacing handwritten notes on whiteboards may not seem revolutionary, but saving the time taken to write up notes repeatedly when patients move and minimising the risk of inaccuracies is a significant development.”

Nilesh Patel, technical solutions manager, said: “The touchscreen technology provides a modern approach of presenting clinically-relevant information to support patient care and aid decision-making and the interactive application is a fantastic new innovation to help staff care for their patients.”