Our Trust and Oxehealth have won the 2019 HSJ Patient Safety Award for Best Healthtech Solution for Patient Safety.
The award recognises the work of the Trust and Oxehealth to improve dementia care in mental health through the use of Oxehealth’s Digital Care Assistant. The Digital Care Assistant uses optical sensor technology to detect patient movement in bedrooms in an attempt to reduce falls during the night. By alerting staff via a central monitor if patients are on the edge of the bed or are trying to get out of bed, it enables them to intervene to prevent falls.
The Trust saw falls at night drop by a third on two wards that introduced the technology, a clinical study has shown. Manor Hospital’s Pembleton and Stanley wards, which care for inpatients with dementia, installed the Digital Care Assistant in half of their bedrooms, and measured the impact over eight months. During the clinical study that ran from March to October 2018, there were 33% fewer falls at night than in the same period of 2017.
There was also a 71% reduction in time spent by nurses on enhanced observations; a time saving of 7,800 hours per year for the hospital. Staff reported increased confidence and family members felt they had more peace of mind that patients were well looked after.
Of the win, Fiona McGruer, Interim Chief Nurse and Chief Operating Officer at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “We are thrilled to have won this award in partnership with Oxehealth. We are very proud of the innovative techniques and approaches being used by the clinical team at the Trust to further patient safety and care. This collaboration with Oxehealth is a great example of this. The Trust is committed to using digital innovation to improve the care we provide and support our staff in their roles.”
During the study, the falls that did take place were less severe: more than half did not result in harm to the patient. This not only supported better care but resulted in a 56% reduction in demand for A&E services. If there is a fall, staff can also use the Digital Care Assistant to replay a short video of the incident, turning an unwitnessed fall into a witnessed one, and avoiding the need for invasive observations if no head injury occurred.
Hugh Lloyd-Jukes, Chief Executive, Oxehealth, commented: “This prestigious HSJ award recognises Stanley & Pembleton wards’ huge achievement in reducing injuries and improving the quality of patient care. Our partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust is a powerful example of how Trusts can deploy the Digital Care Assistant to help colleagues work “at the top of their band” to the benefit of patients, patient families and the NHS.”
The Trust is now in a transition phase and is progressing towards embedding the Digital Care Assistant into ‘business as usual’ in this care setting.