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New high-tech system trialled in Scotland boosts patient safety



A new high-tech system capable of electronic patient observation has boosted a Scottish emergency department’s capability.

The system, named Patientrack, can flag how sick patients are when they arrive in an emergency department.

The technology, a first for NHS Scotland, has been trialled at the University Hospital Monklands (UHM) in Airdrie, where, according to personnel, it has enhanced patient safety and staff efficiency.

Patientrack allows staff to record information such as blood pressure and oxygen levels into iPads as patients arrive in the emergency department and are assessed, streamlining their work and better allocating resources to the sickest patients, UHM emergency medicine consultant Dr Gordon McNeish claims. 

McNeish added: “The benefit of the system in an ED [emergency department] is that it automatically calculates a ‘National Early Warning Score’ (News). The score helps us work out how quickly a patient should be seen and how frequently their observations should be repeated. 

“Instead of having to check through individual sheets of paper to discover which patients are sickest and when observations are due, there’s a large touchscreen monitor in the main clinical area. This high-tech approach allows the co-ordinating team to see real-time observations, News scores and outstanding tasks for all ED patients at the same time.”

The initiative forms part of NHS Lanarkshire’s Monklands Replacement Project, which aims to upgrade the current hospital into Scotland’s first digital hospital by 2031.

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