NHS Borders provides healthcare services to over 110,000 people in the Scottish Borders. It offers a range of healthcare services which includes acute hospital services in the Borders General Hospital and the Community based hospital services in Peebles, Hawick, Duns and Kelso.
NHS Borders shares many challenges with the rest of NHS Scotland and the UK including increasing public expectations, widening health inequalities, an ageing population placing increased demands on health services, an increasing number of people living with more than one long-term condition and thus a growing volume of patients requiring health services.
A top priority for NHS Borders is patient safety and delivering an excellent patient experience; a key element of this is ensuring removal of any barriers to patient flow and early planning for patient discharge. The WardView application was developed to support this and is available to a range of multi-disciplinary teams displaying information in a way that is highly visible to clinical staff.
WardView technology in NHS Borders had to work for everybody who would use the system. Consistency was a key consideration and the Wardview system was developed to ensure the exact same view in each ward and community hospital. It was important that the hospital patient administration system and WardView interacted, so information could be relied upon and entered once.
The new technology was developed to support clinical processes, the touchscreen technology was user-friendly for clinical staff to update and staff were trained on using the application.
The Wardview programme was pioneered in Scotland by NHS Borders and it was developed by clinical staff. Clinical involvement at every stage helped develop an IT system which supports clinicians and was a very different approach to how NHS Borders would usually implement new IT systems. A phased rollout plan was created and there were weekly updates to a project board to ensure the rollout was achieved in a timely manner.
A key focus in implementing WardView was patient flow on the wards and tracking key factors in the patient’s journey. A consistent view was developed, ensuring that WardView was exactly the same in every ward and community hospital. This helped towards an overall aim of consistency during Board rounds and enables every element of the patient journey to be considered on a daily basis.
Training was a vital part of the roll out and 15 minute drop in sessions were held when WardView was first implemented. During the rollout not every column in the Wardview display was used by all staff from the go-live. But time was spent on the wards with nursing staff (outside Board Rounds) helping to support staff to use the Board as part of their daily routines. Advocates on each ward helped support its implementation and improve consistency.
Once staff used the Boards they quickly became comfortable with the application and many could see the benefits of using WardView very quickly. As staff became familiar with the technology, new additions were identified and suggested improvements were added (if they worked for all staff).