Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is set to enhance its digital maturity through a partnership that will see it implement a health technology platform to transform patient safety and clinical efficiency for its hospitals and its local healthcare system partners.
In March, the trust, which serves a population of half a million people over three hospitals, has announced a five-year partnership with Alcidion, the parent company of well-regarded UK health technology provider Patientrack.
The trust will deploy the technology provider’s full product suite as part of its mission to be a self-made digital exemplar, also supporting ambitions to embrace artificial intelligence. It is the first such installation of its kind outside Australia, where Alcidion is helping many healthcare providers pursue similar visions for digitally-enabled, paper-free healthcare.
The contract will see the trust deploy Alcidion’s Miya Precision platform, Smartpage healthcare messaging product, and Patientrack e-observation and early warning system in all wards across the trust.
Teams across the hospital will benefit, as will system-wide integrated care. Nursing staff will have more time to spend with patients, and the means to prompt more rapid interventions for deteriorating patients. Improvements to patient flow and discharge will help the whole trust cope with increasing demand, and the platform will provide healthcare system partners with access to appropriate data that will enable care closer to home.
Neil Perry, associate director of digital transformation at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust said:
“Following a competitive tender process, we are very pleased to be working with Alcidion to implement its leading product suite across our hospitals. Alcidion’s solutions are the right fit to help us meet our commitment to use digital technology to improve patient outcomes and share these improvements with other NHS trusts.
Alcidion is a long term solution partner for the trust, and we believe its technology can empower our clinical staff to make informed decisions and focus on what they do best – deliver excellent patient care. We are very excited by the possibilities in the use of artificial intelligence and natural language processing offered by the Alcidion solution.”
Designed as a patient safety platform, the integrated technology deployment will support electronic patient observations, electronic paper charts, clinical assessments, clinical noting, patient flow, bed management and electronic discharge summaries for GPs. Clinical teams will have secure online access to patient information 24 hours a day, where and when required.
Alcidion will provide simple, rapid access to data and digital processes for frontline staff, through a mobile platform that will support rapid escalation for deteriorating patients, reduce the burden of paper and help address its reliance on pagers – a national imperative for the NHS.
The partnership will help the trust to leapfrog the digital maturity of other trusts as part of its self-made digital exemplar programme, created by the trust in the spirit of the national Global Digital Exemplar programme being rolled out with digitally-advanced healthcare providers across the NHS. It will also align the trust with technology visions of the NHS Long Term Plan and health secretary Matt Hancock, and ambitions of the review into digital health in the NHS undertaken by Dr Eric Topol.
The platform will harness data from multiple systems, and provide a single dashboard for events inside and outside the hospital. This will help to support an alliance with the trust’s partner Guy’s and St Thomas’ (GSTT) NHS Foundation Trust.
“We will have real time clinical information to share into the Alliance’s Shared Care Record for when we refer emergency or elective patients. This should strengthen the Alliance’s ability to keep patients nearer to home, with the GSTT specialists able to better advise and inform Dartford and Gravesham clinicians on the best course of action based on the real-time data insights. We hope this will see fewer emergency transfers and more patients cared for locally,” said Perry.
The new partnership has had strong clinical buy in from the outset, and nursing leads have been clear on the implications of the new platform. Phillipa Wakefield, Dartford’s lead nurse informatics officer, said:
“We have seen the impressive results of Patientrack at other hospitals in helping to improve patient safety and clinical effectiveness. With the additional functionality of Alcidion, our nursing staff will have mobile technology that cuts the time they spend doing observations, escalations and assessments. It will also help us reduce unnecessary deterioration, through earlier interventions and improved alerting and communication”.
Other advances made possible with Alcidion include the ability to use Miya’s natural language processing (NLP) capability to take free text clinical narrative and code that into SNOMED.
“The NLP capability of the Miya platform is very impressive,” added Perry. “The digitisation of doctors’ noting is uncommon across the NHS; with Alcidion, this technology is built-in and makes achieving this goal a real possibility from initial clerking through to discharge summaries. Our surgeons and anaesthetists are keen to explore developing the solution for pre-operative, inter-operative and post-operative surgery with tight coupling to our ePrescribing and Medicines Administration system. We are in early discussions on the need for anaesthetic monitors integrations.”
Alcidion’s UK General Manager, Donald Kennedy, said:
“Dartford and Gravesham is incredibly impressive in its digital health ambitions, and will become an important reference site as one of the pioneers of using real-time data and mobile devices to improve patient safety. We look forward to supporting the trust on its digital health journey.”
Alcidion’s Managing Director, Kate Quirke, said:
“This is a major win for Alcidion, and is the first integrated installation of the complete product platform – Miya Precision, Patientrack and Smartpage – outside of Australia. This contract is solid proof that we can introduce an innovative new technology solution to the UK market.”