£500,000 funding helps The Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital become digital

20 Jun 2018

With our grant of £500,000, ‘Workstations on Wheels’ (WOWs) have been rolled out – literally - across two of the Barts Health NHS Trust hospitals, to drive them towards the digital future of healthcare and benefit an estimated 50,000 inpatients each year.

162 wifi-connected computers on specially-designed movable desks were delivered to The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s earlier this year, following an application from David van Heel, Deputy Chief Clinical Information Officer at the Trust (pictured above). “Having a mix of paper and digital health records is unsafe” he says. “Having critical information recorded in two separate systems increases the risk of missing important findings.”

For staff, these WOWs help them save time and energy on their day-to-day job; after signing in with a secure card, clinicians can view real-time data in the Trust’s e-health record system which is accessible to everyone in the Trust. Digital communication is improved not only within and across the Trust’s hospital sites, but key health records are also immediately available to partner organisations such as a patient’s GP and Homerton Hospital.

“The Workstations on Wheels have significantly improved the efficiency and safety of our care provision on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit” says Senior Clinical Fellow Burak Salgin (pictured right). Marie Healy, Divisional Director of Surgery adds: “The delivery of the WOWs has had a very positive impact on the morale of the staff, especially our trainees, across the surgical wards and the theatre suites at The Royal London. This will also enable better management of operating lists, scheduling and day case admissions.”

The WOWs also mean cost reductions, both by removing printing costs and avoiding duplicated tests, as there is less margin for error. Another benefit, as the NHS becomes digitised, is that the WOWs help students and staff on the wards stay up to date with e-health practices.

The WOWs will allow greater research – written records cannot be analysed, but anonymised data captured by WOWs, which is specially coded, can be used across key research platforms to help us understand diseases better. One such platform is East London Genes and Health which aims to take data from 100,000 volunteers of Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage, to find out why these populations are at increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Mo Thaha, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Colorectal Surgery adds: “The new machines have already made an enormous contribution and impact. There is a new momentum across all of the surgical floor. Now you can feel and see the entire pathway connected by electronic health records."

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