Employing more than 6,000 staff tasked with delivering compassionate care over two hospital sites, Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, as well as within community sites, health centres and patient homes, the Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of services including urgent and emergency care, critical and end of life care and young people’s services.
Treating around 1 million patients annually, the Trust has always sought to modernise and invest in its health services in order to continue to build upon its already accomplished reputation as an organisation which continually strives to be the best that it can be whilst ensuring that patients’ needs, requirements and wellbeing are always at the forefront of their actions.
When a technology investment at the beginning of 2020 took a different course to its original deployment plan due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Trust took a pioneering approach with its newly purchased Zebra TC51-HC Touch Computers and utilised them to improve patients’ well-being and make hospital stays as comfortable and as stressfree as possible whilst persevering through an extraordinary and unprecedented scenario.
Graham Walsh, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Associate Medical Director and Chief Clinical Information Officer at Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, explains “We originally purchased the devices to assist us with clinical bedside observations, however when the pandemic hit, we decided to repurpose the devices to enable patients to communicate with their loved ones whilst they were in hospital undergoing treatment for Covid.”
Walsh continues, “During the pandemic, these products proved invaluable to the overall well-being of our patients and their families, as the mental health of those suffering with Covid was a key attribute in the recovery process. CHFT is very proud of its reputation for providing compassionate care; the usage of the TC51-HC devices during the pandemic had such a positive impact within the hospital that their use as a method of communication between patients and their loved ones to allow ‘virtual visiting’ has continued even though the crisis appears to be abating. The reduction of the number of positive Covid cases within our hospitals has now enabled us to utilise the devices within the facility in line with the original intention which was to assist with clinical bedside observations.”
Jonathan Daly, Healthcare Solutions Account Manager at Dakota comments, “Having listened to the Trust’s requirements for a suitable device for their observation needs, we were delighted to recommend the Zebra TC51-HC. Designed for all day use, the Zebra TC51-HC combines enterprise functionality within an industrial yet lightweight design whilst maintaining a similar look and feel to a smart phone. Featuring a chemical-resistant healthcare plastic construction, an on-screen keypad, a range of connectivity options and rapid data and image capture, the TC51-HC delivers exceptional operability and provides everything clinicians need from a data capture device.”
The TC51-HC devices, equipped with Nervecentre Electronic Patient Record (EPR) software, link directly to the Trust’s Cerner Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, allowing healthcare professionals to electronically capture, store and access patient data and health information which has been harvested from items such as wristbands, medical records and medication in order to build a comprehensive overview of the status of each patient.
Walsh continues, “The deployment of the Nervecentre EPR software onto the devices and subsequent integration into our Cerner EMR system enables us to tackle challenges such as patient safety and patient flow, thanks to the availability of real-time critical information and data for each patient. The real-time visibility of patient status allows us to quickly recognise and act upon instances of patient deterioration in order to escalate care. The availability of this information to all healthcare staff involved in the care of a particular patient also means that everyone is fully informed at all times, which is crucial for us to provide the best possible levels of care. It also reduces the time required to update staff during shift changes and helps us to ensure that nothing is ever overlooked in terms of patient requirements and critical updates. We are also able to track the whereabouts of each individual TC51-HC device, helping to ensure that our initial investment is not wasted due to misplaced or lost items.”
The deployment of the TC51-HC devices has clearly been a great success for the Trust; a sentiment which is endorsed by Walsh.
“These devices really have transformed the way that we work within our hospitals; so much so that we often ask ourselves “Why didn’t we do this before?” We are delighted that we have such a good technology partner in the form of Dakota, who have been invaluable in helping us to deploy the devices in the first instance. The use of this kind of technology has really opened our eyes in terms of what it can do to assist the flow of communication, making life that much better for our staff and patients alike. Whilst we like to think of ourselves as a digitally advanced organisation, this scenario has really highlighted how devices such as the TC51-HC can provide multi-usage within facilities such as ours and has enabled us to consider what else we can do in terms of technology to help us further build upon our accomplished reputation of delivering first class care for our patients. We very much look forward to seeing what the future holds here at the Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and we hope that Dakota will continue to be part of our exciting journey.”