Alcidion appointed to UK National Health Service (NHS) Clinical Communications Procurement Framework

Mobile clinical communications improve clinician and patient experience

A new multi-million pound framework that will help the NHS ‘purge the pager’ provides NHS trusts in the UK with a means to quickly and easily procure Alcidion’s Smartpage messaging system without tendering.

NHSX has awarded Alcidion a place on its £3 million Clinical Communications Procurement Framework, a new procurement vehicle to help the NHS phase out pagers by the end of next year.

Smartpage allows instant two-way messaging between busy professionals providing them with read receipts and guaranteed delivery between all care team members, as well as the ability to share images and assign tasks. Healthcare providers using the system are also given organisation wide oversight in real time.

Lynette Ousby, UK general manager for Alcidion, said: “NHSX has shown a commitment through this framework to accelerate the spread of modern technologies in the health service that can help healthcare professionals communicate effectively during the busiest of times.

“The inclusion of Smartpage on this framework is an important independent validation for Alcidion’s Smartpage product. We look forward to helping trusts modernise their communications tools through a framework in a way that is affordable and straightforward.”

The new framework follows an order from health and social care secretary Matt Hancock for the removal of pagers from the NHS for non-emergency communications by the end of 2021. Speaking at the time in 2019, he said: “Every day, our wonderful NHS staff work incredibly hard in what can be challenging and high-pressured environments. The last thing they need are the frustrations of having to deal with outdated technology – they deserve the very best equipment to help them do their jobs”.

Alcidion has had significant success with Smartpage over recent months. Reliable and secure communication between clinicians is a critical component of digitally integrated and coordinated care across the healthcare sector. However, siloed information due to a complex mix of pagers, legacy phones and whiteboards is a cause of communication delays or errors in many hospitals today. This can lead to longer waiting times, delayed or missed care and lack of visibility into staff workloads.

To address these challenges, four leading healthcare organisations have chosen to implement or extend the use of Alcidion’s smart clinical messaging platform Smartpage: ACT Health, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, Counties Manukau District Health Board and Townsville Hospital and Health Service.

ACT Health

At ACT Health, Alcidion has integrated Smartpage’s non-clinical communication and task management capabilities with Alcidion’s FHIR-based technology platform, Miya Precision, to improve workflow efficiency. By combining Smartpage with Miya’s intuitive real-time display, ward staff access the information needed to manage efficiently such as transfers, discharges and patient care requirements.

The ability to assign tasks, send notifications and alerts and have real-time visibility of team workload, means ward staff can enable effective rounding and handovers, optimise resources and improve coordination of care.  In great uptake on the first day of use, 17 wardspersons (orderlies) and two coordinators actively used the solution and over 130 tasks were sent.

ACT Health Chief Information Officer Mr Peter O’Halloran has described the initial implementation of Smartpage as transformational with immediate benefits being realised “Smartpage was initially piloted with 17 wardspeople and we quickly saw the unallocated task list and the time taken to complete a task both decrease by 50%. Clinical Work Devices and the use of Smartpage is a core component of the ACT Digital Health Strategy.”

Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB)

Counties Manukau DHB initiated a pilot project to implement Smartpage to support and better manage its Radiology orderly services. They wanted to improve patient transport to and from radiology to minimise patient length of stay, improve patient care and improve operational efficiency.

Smartpage provides views for both the orderlies and their supervisors to ensure that resource utilisation and communication is streamlined.  Following the success of the pilot, the use of Smartpage was extended to manage all orderly services across Middlemore Hospital.

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board (NMDHB)

For Nelson Marlborough DHB, ward staff identified that technology could improve the flow of information and reduce delays in the patients’ journey. With Smartpage integrated with Alcidion’s Patientrack product, nurses and clinical teams could share real-time information on patient status, pending activities and workload, to ensure the continuation of care across shifts and the effective allocation of responsibilities.

Initially, 100 hospital staff across four hospitals – Nelson, Wairau, Alexandra and Mental Health – were able to access Smartpage Clinical. Following this implementation, Nelson Marlborough are implementing the Smartpage Service Management component. Clinicians across the hospitals are already reporting key benefits including more time to address patient needs.

A Duty Nurse Manager from Nelson Marlborough DHB said, “While it is early days in using Smartpage, we have seen improved communication across the areas using it. We are saving so much time every day now that we are using Smartpage.”

Other Ward Nurses have also provided feedback that “since Smartpage went in, the medical staff have been so much more responsible in dealing with issues. It’s been great – we love it.”

Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS)

Townsville Hospital and Health Service have recently signed a contract to implement Smartpage to support their clinical communication. This will be Alcidion’s first contract with a QLD HHS to implement Smartpage.

Alcidion Managing Director Kate Quirke said, “In recent months, a number of healthcare organisations have implemented or extended the use of our Smartpage solution to improve and secure communication across clinical and services teams. We are proud to partner with these forward-thinking organisations to help drive sustainable improvements in patient flow, care quality and patient and staff experience.”