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E-Observations - The Future

Clinicians discussing e-observation results

Whether you are an inpatient or visitor, you should be becoming more accustomed to seeing doctors and nurses using a range of handheld electronic devices, for example ipads and ipods on the wards.  This unprecedented step, moving away from paper means that more than 9,000 doctors and nurses across the three hospitals have access to a mobile device to log vital patient information and share key clinical details.

The system, which is called ‘E-Obs’, is a digital solution to record the vital signs of a patient. A mobile device is used by the nursing staff to collect and store patient observations, creating a score that can assist in making clinical judgments when treating a patient.  This scoring can help indicate signs of deterioration for example sepsis and acute kidney injury. 

This enables a nurse to remain with the patient should their observations deteriorate, as alerts can be sent automatically to the responding teams who can then come and review the patient.

 It also allows the consultants when away from the wards to keep track of their patients and have a ‘bird’s eye’ view of the ward from afar.

This software system has already been successfully used to support the Trust’s ‘out of hours’ response team and handover process on the wards. 

Julia Ball, Deputy Chief Nurse, Corporate Lead for the project said “This is part of Leicester’s Hospitals commitment to patient safety; through the introduction of technology identifying the deteriorating patient.  With E-Obs clinicians will now have up-to-the-minute information about their patients at their fingertips, wherever they are in the hospital and the ability to communicate with staff about an individual patient.”

“The project will significantly increase staff communication and has the potential to make substantial patient safety improvements”.

Jodie Holland, Healthcare Assistant, who works on one of first ward’s to use E-Obs, is a keen supporter of the new system “E-Obs gives very exact and accurate information and gives me the opportunity to raise any concerns without having to leave the patient’s bedside.  I cannot fault it.”

So if you see a doctor or nurse on an ipad or ipod, they are not playing ‘Candy Crush’ or chatting to friends, they are utilising Leicester’s Hospitals very latest technology for the benefit of the patient!