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St Helens and Whiston hospitals boost efficiency with bed management system

IMS Maxims : 18 August, 2010  (Application Story)
Doctors, nurses and patients at the St Helens and Whiston hospitals are benefiting from a new bed management system supplied by IMS MAXIMS which saves time and raises efficiency.
The IMS MAXIMS real-time system has gone live at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and has simplified the handling of more than 500 patient admissions, discharges and transfers a day.

The trust provides a full range of acute in-patient, out-patient, day case and emergency services to St Helens, Knowsley, parts of Halton and Liverpool, extending to the whole of Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales and the Isle of Man with the Regional Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit. The St Helens Hospital opened in 2008 and the Whiston Hospital in March 2010. The IMS MAXIMS bed management system has been introduced as part of a wider programme to use the company's suite of proven IT solutions to further enhance patient services.

Among the attractions of the IMS MAXIMS solution is that it is web-browser based, secure and easy to use handing more control to nurses while saving them significant time. The previous system demanded lots of telephone calls between clerical staff and nurses, plus frequent head counts of patients. Now it takes just 15 seconds to update each patient's information. What's more, the trust hasn't had to invest in any new computers or screens as it runs on their existing equipment.

Key features of the system, which is integrated with the IMS MAXIMS PAS used by the trust, are:

- The Ward View shows the layout of each ward with essential details like colour coding indicating whether the bed is available or occupied, patient name and planned discharge time.

- The White Board View large panel display for viewing only.

- The Bed Management View details a wide range of information including total hospital bed capacity and availability, patients due for discharge and elective booking lists.

Neil Darvill, the trust's Director of Informatics, said: “We previously had a retrospective, clerical based system that was labour intensive and time consuming.”

“The new system shifts control towards the nurses on each ward and works in real time, so it eliminates the delays and frees up time. At any given moment we know about everyone who has come in and exactly where they are. The system is intuitive and easy to use, with each transaction taking about 15 seconds and the training only took an hour for each member of staff.”

“We are now able to plan discharges better and get people home a little sooner. We know which beds are coming free and when, which allows us to get other patients into them more quickly.”

Consultants find it easier and quicker to get ward rounds underway as they just have to glance at a screen to locate each patient. Visitors can also find their relatives or friends more easily by looking at the ward screens.

Darvill added: “The bed management system is a good product and IMS MAXIMS has done a cracking job with it. It's a good system which is based on customer requirements. And what I like about working with IMS MAXIMS is that you can talk to them about what you need and they will really try to get it done.”

Shane Tickell, IMS MAXIMS Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The trust identified the need for a new bed management system that would save time, improve planning, and which would also pave the way for future enhancements in patient care. We were able to provide a sophisticated but simple-to-use solution that is now benefiting both staff and patients.”

“I believe this is a good example of the way in which proven IT solutions, developed in partnership with customers, make a valuable contribution to helping the NHS become more efficient. Once again this is demonstration of IMS MAXIMS contribution to that approach.”
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