Te Whatu Ora – Nelson Marlborough implemented Smartpage Clinical to assist with clinical communication requirements and task management

Te Whatu Ora – Nelson Marlborough commenced its journey with Alcidion with the introduction of Patientrack in late 2018. To address clinical communication requirements that were heightened during the COVID pandemic in 2020, Nelson Marlborough chose to partner with Alcidion again to implement Smartpage Clinical. Smartpage Clinical can replace any existing paging systems and facilitate communication and notification. The intuitive user interface presents relevant information to streamline engagement and provide the user with easy access to all actions and updates supporting their work. Messages are complemented by integrated patient identification, vital signs, early warning scores, read receipts and instant two-way replies that improve patient care and clinical collaboration.

The customer

Te Whatu Ora – Nelson Marlborough was originally established as Nelson Marlborough District Health Board in 2001, providing and funding health services in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough regions on the South Island of New Zealand.

On 1 July 2022, Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority became Aotearoa’s new national health authorities and Nelson Marlborough District Health Board (trading as Nelson Marlborough Health) as an entity was disestablished and became part of Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand.

The challenge

Having Patientrack enabled Te Whatu Ora – Nelson Marlborough’s clinical staff to have a transparent view of where and when a patient is deteriorating with the added benefits that data was available at the bedside or in a clinic room for senior clinicians has really improved care.

Clinical staff were looking for an electronic communication / task management solution that would improve communication between departments as well as provide transparency of information; which in turn would assist in more efficient clinical decision making. The solution also needed to be able to be implemented seamlessly into their product stack.

In early 2022, with the success of the implementation of Smartpage Clinical, it was felt that the technology would further improve the flow of information and reduce delays in the patients’ journey by bringing on other departments.

Smartpage orderlies

Smartpage Orderly allows the e-ordering of patient transfers and orderly tasks electronically (via Smartpage), with immediate dispatching to orderly staff via smartphones.

From a non-clinical perspective, Smartpage it was expected that would deliver benefits from requesting, co-ordination and individual perspectives. Each role involved in the process would have visibility of the status of tasks across the organisation. The solution could then be effectively applied to all non-clinical task requirements, such as portering and orderly tasks. The use of real-time information, electronic requests, instant dispatching, and self-allocation would create efficient workflows and improve team productivity. Patient journeys would be streamlined with the more efficient service delivery and further increase patient satisfaction.

Collaborative working began with Alcidion, the Nelson Marlborough Orderlies and Digital team to understand the Orderlies’ workflow and requirements, and what the product could offer. Initially the Orderlies were concerned about the technology not being easy to use as they felt “technologically challenged”. However, as a result of the collaborative nature of working throughout the implementation and the intuitiveness of the product, this concern never eventuated.

Due to the good existing working relationship with Alcidion during previous product implementations, it was easy to strengthen that relationship with a vendor who were already responsive to Te Whatu Ora – Nelson Marlborough’s needs and requirements. As a result, the solution was seamlessly implemented early 2023 and has been really well received by users.

The result

A staff survey following the implementation of Smartpage Clinical (which included medical, nursing and allied health staff) revealed that 22% stated Smartpage had saved them time. One of the Ward Nurses said:

“It’s better than phone calls because it doesn’t matter if I’m busy or on the phone, I still get the message and can respond more usefully due to the information they send in the Smartpage message (rather than having to pick up phone messages or notice that a text has come through).”

Since the implementation of Smartpage Clinical, staff at Te Whatu Ora – Nelson Marlborough have been able to save time with routine task management and improve communication, with over 4,800 pages sent in total across the district.

Now, following the Smartpage Orderlies implementation, the Orderly team have seen improvement in team productivity. They have better visibility of all the orderly requests which has facilitated better management and execution of tasks.

“Smartpage is an easy to use, handy tool. The messages are very clear, so we know where to go and what to do” – Team Leader, Orderlies

Clinical users also really like that they can see which tasks have been activated and actioned provided by the feedback loop function, which was not transparent before.

“We are loving Smartpage. We also like knowing the job has been viewed by the Orderly team.” – Charge Nurse Manager

Ward Clerks have also been impressed by the reduction in queries from Orderlies on the tasks allocated since the implementation of Smartpage Orderlies.

“I LOVE IT! Love the ease of it and SO QUICK!!” – Clerical Support

In the first full month since the implementation of Smartpage Orderlies, over 2100 tasks have been requested.

The future

To date both Patientrack and Smartpage have been well received, particularly with improvements being worked on to integrate escalation of the deteriorating patient within the Smartpage system. Te Whatu Ora – Nelson Marlborough aim to work within the whole of the health system and there is a potential to expand the use of Smartpage to bring onboard other teams, such as Radiology and Household Services.

Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand’s vision is to achieve a vision of Pae Ora, healthy futures for all New Zealanders by creating an equitable, integrated and sustainable health service, which is not determined by who the patient is or where they live.

All New Zealanders deserve access to consistent quality care when they need it, to live longer in good health and have the best quality of life. Te Whatu Ora works to increase collaboration, strengthen leadership and accountability, and improve equity of access and outcomes across the health service.

A national health system that is:

  • People-centred – a system that brings together the voice of all communities
  • Equitable – a system that focusses on working in partnership with Māori and honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Accessible – a system that offers more equitable, convenient access to services for all New Zealanders
  • Cohesive – a national health system that delivers locally supported by co-ordinated planning and oversight
  • Area covered: 22,700 square kilometres
  • Population: 160,000
  • Healthcare staff: 3,022
  • Venues: Two hospitals, two public health services and many community services
  • Beds: 211
  • Admissions: Average of 388 per month across all sites
  • ED attendances: Average of 4,000 per month across the district
  • Ambulatory attendances: Average of 17,000 per month across the district

With the implementation of Smartpage, it is much easier to see request types. The data shows that 32% of urgent requests are for equipment; such as blood tubes, culture bottles, IV lines, specimen bags, IDCs, and nasogastric tubes. This provides the opportunity to improve the restocking process and re-evaluate baseline ward stock levels. Small changes in the way wards are restocked have the potential to free up clinician and orderly time, which in turn release time to provide quality care for patients.

Orderly Team Leaders now have the ability to see where the crunch points are, which facilitates the reallocation of staff to alleviate pressure points.