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TrusTECH keeps Patients Safe (Home and Away?)

Dr Michael Buist, an intensive care consultant in Australia, became very concerned about preventable deaths, injuries and complications among patients already in the care of hospitals. He determined to find out what could be done to reduce the incidence and impact of these adverse events. With help from TrusTECH, a joint venture partner in the MedTECH Centre, his revolutionary system is now keeping NHS patients safe in Manchester 24/7.  

His research, which was corroborated by similar studies carried out by others elsewhere in the world, showed that 70 per cent of deaths caused by adverse events were avoidable.

 To combat the problem, Dr Buist and his colleagues developed a new software application that could be used to identify deteriorating patients and alert medical staff and ensure action when a patient was at risk. “Hospital wards are often hectic and procedural mistakes can easily be made, with severe consequences,” says Sam Hollander, Managing Director of Patientrack UK. “Our software recognises when a patient needs to be seen, and automatically communicates alerts to medical staff until the patient gets better. This allows a doctor to prioritise patients on his rounds, lets ward managers know if any patient’s observations are overdue, and helps nurses to calculate an early warning score for each patient to pre-empt any issues that might arise.”

 When Patientrack approached TrusTECH asking to trial the system for the first time in the UK, they immediately saw the significance for NHS patients and arranged a trial in Manchester Royal Infirmary, one of 60 Trusts with which TrusTECH works in the Northwest.

 Patientrack developed its product in Australia but chose the UK as its primary market. In the UK, patient safety is already very high on the agenda of the Department of Health, and the NHS is investing significantly in IT to help improve patient safety and hospital care processes. Other markets like the US and Canada will be addressed later - building on the foundations of successful installations in UK hospitals. With the assistance of TrusTECH, the NHS Innovation Hub for the North West, the company made contact with Dr Jane Eddleston of the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT). Dr Eddleston has a national reputation for work into reducing the impact of adverse events in hospitals and improving hospital care. With her support, Patientrack conducted a two year trial at CMFT. The results were independently evaluated and found to reduce hospital mortality, the length of patients’ stay and the demand for high dependency hospital beds. “Our trials showed that patient safety was improved using our system, and that the efficiency created by Patientrack had a positive financial effect,” says Sam. “CMFT has since held a competitive tender to check all the market offerings, and chose Patientrack to supply its software for use in over 1200 hospital beds across Manchester, over the next five years.” 

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