Capital and Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) is one of 20 DHBs in New Zealand (NZ) and provides services to around 900,000 of their country’s population – an estimated 318,000 people call the region home. It is located in Wellington in the south of NZ’s north island and operates two hospitals, Wellington Regional Hospital in Newtown and Kenepuru Hospital in Porirua, as well as the Kāpiti Health Centre at Paraparaumu.
CCDHB provides two distinct roles for their population:
- Secondary services via the hospital and community outreach programmes
- Assessing the health needs of the people of the district and contracting the most appropriate services to meet those needs via their Strategy, Innovation and Performance team
CCDHB provides a range of specialist services including neurosurgery, oncology, neonatal intensive care and community-based services including district nursing, rehabilitation services, social work, alcohol and drug services, and home support services to their population.
Patients are more vulnerable after-hours because there are fewer doctors and nurses available. After reviewing a couple of adverse events that happened after-hours, CCDHB discovered that the root cause was communication problems between doctors and nurses.
After researching a number of different solutions, CCDHB decided to implement Alcidion’s Smartpage product in both Wellington and Kenepuru Hospitals to improve communication, efficiency and patient safety.
With the implementation of Smartpage, nurses can quickly enter details of their task, along with all patient information that a doctor would require. They can see that the message has been sent to the doctor, when the doctor has seen their message, and receive responses back.
Prior to the implementation of Smartpage, the primary means of communication between doctors and nurses was verbal, however, it is now captured in the system which enables more accurate reporting.
“The reporting tool in Smartpage is very useful, especially when we review a reportable event that is related to communication error or breakdown. It helps identify what the problem or issue was, and it gives us the opportunity to provide a resolution in a more efficient manner.”
– Zaffer Malik, Clinical Nurse Educator, Capital and Coast District Health Board
Smartpage also allows management staff at the hospital to gain better visibility of their doctors’ workload after-hours. This has allowed them to move doctors around more efficiently, equalising their workloads.
Smartpage is used by CCDHB in over 30 wards, with mobile orderlies being dispatched to over 1,500 tasks a day.
Alcidion’s Smartpage solution has not only improved communication in the hospital, but it has also improved visibility, efficiency and above all, patient safety.
Nurses like having the ability to communicate with doctors accurately and rapidly, no matter where they are in the hospital. Doctors are saving 10 to 15 minutes per hour, as there is no longer a need to call around to try and find the nurse that paged them.
“The quick resolution of issues is now happening on a continual basis. The efficiency of the doctors getting through their messages, getting back to the nurses, and getting their work done quickly has been a critical improvement.”
– Dr Kyle Perrin, Head of Department for Medicine, Capital and Coast District Health Board
There has also been an improvement in staff efficiency, as they are now able to see the logistics of their workflow and important patient information that gives them more data to get their work completed.
“I love Smartpage because it is easy to use, it is very efficient, and it gives transparency of care.”
– Isabella McKenzie, Registered Nurse, Capital and Coast District Health Board
The ability to access reporting on staff workloads has proven very useful. The hospital has now made changes to the way after-hours cover work and is looking at other ways to improve the balance of work across the hospital, to improve efficiency and patient safety.