Electronic early warning system introduced by NHS Fife cuts cardiac arrests by up to two-thirds
Cardiac arrests have fallen by up to two thirds after NHS Fife became the first health board in Scotland to deploy an electronic early warning system.
The Patientrack technology was rolled out at Victoria Hospital in Kirkaldy six months ago, alerting doctors and nurses when patients’ vital signs deteriorate.
Early findings from the deployment of the early warning system - the first of its kind north of the border - were revealed earlier this week at Holyrood Connect's annual eHealth conference in Clydebank.
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Dr Gavin Simpson, consultant critical care and anaesthetics at NHS Fife, who led the clinical deployment of Patientrack at NHS Fife, said: “Any clinician can now instantly see the profiles of the sickest patients in the hospital.
“Patientrack has helped us introduce some of the biggest and most immediate changes in clinical practice I have ever seen.
“There are warning signs before cardiac arrests. The key is to pick them up quickly - that is what Patientrack allows. Patientrack has helped us achieve an immediate and significant reduction in cardiac arrests in one of the busiest areas of the hospital, by up to two thirds.”
Patientrack allows nurses to capture vital signs on handheld tablet devices at the bedside with the technology then calculating the patient’s early warning score and automatically calling doctors to intervene when there are signs of deterioration.
Dr Rob Cargill, associate medical director for NHS Fife, said: “It is enormously powerful to be able to view a live summary of where the sickest patients in our hospital are so we can respond appropriately.”
Donald Kennedy, managing director of Patientrack, added: “This is a fantastic move for better, safer care in Scotland and we look forward to spreading the benefits across the country.”