Staff working on the postoperative breast ward at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust faced numerous, daily calls from patients’ relatives who wanted up-to-date care information about their loved ones.
However, they had easily accessible means to get this information. Instead, staff had to call different wards and departments to check, each time an update was needed.
Using GS1 standards for patient identification and for the unique identification of their hospital locations, staff had the capacity to link accurate location information for each patient to the electronic patient record (EPR).
With this system in place, details about a patient’s status could be provided in real time, making the right information easily accessible to staff when needed, and to relatives when they called.
"[These changes] have a great impact on the safety of patients. Thanks to the work of the digital and informatics team here at Leeds, we are making world-leading changes to the benefit of our staff, clinicians and, most importantly, our patients and their relatives and carers."
In the initial weeks, they experienced a reduction in the volume of calls to the ward, and because the staff have a better idea of the timing associated with a care journey, they are able to provide well-informed estimates for relatives.
The traceability provided also enables the staff to be much more equipped to prepare ahead of time for anything that patients might need for post-operative care.
Operational efficiency has dramatically improved for the ward staff since they can more easily check a patient’s status. And, it is this efficiency that enables them to provide patients’ relatives with greater support.
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