Andy Rooks: Mobilising Nervecentre

Posted on Mon, 19/08/2019 by Andy Rooks

Patient care is the most important aspect of my current role; it always has been and always will be. I started my role working within Clinical Informatics following 26 years working frontline as a qualified nurse.

Over my time as a nurse I have watched digital technology slowly evolve until it has become intrinsic to patient care. It was during my time as an Acute Response Team (ART) Nurse that I became interested in the way that patient information flows and how digital technology could help support it. The team used to receive so much important patient information, that the only way to be able to process it efficiently was to utilise digital systems.

Following working in ART, I took on the role of Sepsis Specialist Nurse and became clinical lead for our current eObservations system, VitalPAC. This was my first introduction to the potential of a digital system to help support clinicians in organising and standardising the huge amount of patient information we deal with. To ensure we always get the right person to the right place at the right time. 

My current role is that of Clinical Business Change Manager within the Clinical Informatics Team. It involves working closely with the projects, IT, Information and Data Quality teams, external providers and clinicians to ensure that digital systems that deliver safe and effective care.

I am particularly excited about the imminent launch of Nervecentre as I believe this will revolutionise inpatient clinical care. The start of our Nervecentre journey begins this year with the essential steps of ‘track’, which utilises NEWS2 to inform on a patients progress and ‘trigger’ allowing a mobile message to be sent to an appropriate responder. The key aspects of this is that it allows mobile working and information is displayed in context about the individual patient.

One of the benefits of Nervecentre is that it follows the way that clinical staff work. Observations and charts need to be filled in beside the patient and a mobile platform allows this. Triggering a response should not require the health professional to leave the patient’s side. Nervecentre also allows responders to pick up messages via their mobile device with pertinent patient information at their fingertips.

The Trust has invested in over 700 digital devices to assist with mobile working within the wards. For example in the near future at a start of a shift a ward nurse will be able to log on to a mobile device and keep this device with them throughout their shift.  The device will allow staff to access and utilise Nervecentre intuitively throughout their shift, without disrupting work patterns.

Patient safety is something that the Trust rightly prioritises and the new system helps to support this not only through ‘track’ and ‘trigger’ but also through other functions such as hospital at night. A function that specifically supports mobile working for the hospital at night team, allowing tasks to be seen quickly coupled with access to a patient’s specific information.

I am really excited about the potential for change that Nervecentre will bring to the Trust. Over the next few months the Clinical Informatics team will be working closely with frontline staff in the wards to ensure they are fully supported. Nervecentre will bring many benefits to us, but as a clinician the most important benefit will be to further enhance patient safety and care.


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