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Medical data automation for safer and more productive care: how Wirral’s ICU nurses are benefiting from medical device integration

In this case study, discover how Wirral’s nurses are benefiting from medical device integration for a safer and more productive care, as well as how the organisation is working hard to develop workflows and blueprints for other providers to learn from their experiences around connecting mobile devices and becoming paperless.

The context:

Connecting critical data in a wired hospital

As a Global Digital Exemplar and named by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) as one of the world’s ‘most wired’ hospitals, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust prides itself on ensuring its clinical and nursing staff have access to digital tools and information that help free up time and improve care.

Connectivity between IT systems is fundamental to this ambition. The trust’s journey to HIMSS level 7 has interoperability as its heart. So, when the trust turned to Enovacom to connect highly complex data from 11 ventilators to the electronic patient record (EPR) in their busy and life-critical Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the stakes were high.

The challenge:

Delivering real-time vital signs information without compromising clinical usability

In line with national health policy, including the launch of NHSX[1], Wirral Teaching University Hospital has long recognised the value of placing clinicians at the heart of its digital strategy.

The trust empowered anaesthetists to choose ventilators that best met the clinical needs of the ITU department and Maquet ventilators were chosen. The only drawback was that the devices’ drivers would not allow connectivity and subsequent collection and transfer of patient data to the electronic patient record (EPR) real time.

“It was absolutely critical that we were confident the information was correct and that it was going into the right parts of the patient record.” Paul Young, Project Manager

Accessibility to essential data for nurses = increased patient safety benefits

Without this readily accessible data, nurses were spending excessive amounts of time double-documenting and transcribing clinical data between systems, as well as reverting to hourly manually-based methods of calculating patient’s vital signs – presenting risk of human calculation errors. The trust required a rapid and flexible solution to not only allow the exchange of critical information but also preserve the clinician’s preferred choice of medical devices.

“It is important to stress that this has been led by clinicians. The clinicians had a requirement to bring in the best clinical equipment to their department that they could use.” Paul Young, Project Manager

“It was so important we supported the nurses’ digital needs because we know that end users get disillusioned using technology that does not work for them.” Jaqui Cooper, Chief Nursing Information Officer

The specification of the biomedical interoperability project

Meeting Wirral’s requirements: automate data collection

Wirral University Teaching Hospital wanted to exchange and capture data from the new ventilators and send via the trust integration engine to the EPR system. Although this was a specific requirement to integrate two systems, the trust soon recognised the strategic benefits of adopting a flexible interoperability solution that could connect with other devices in the future, both within the organisation and across the regional Integrated Care System (ICS). As the new modern ventilators were a large investment, the trust was keen to start using them as fast as possible so clinicians would realise the benefits quickly.

“Enovacom was the obvious choice. We now have a strategic tool that meant we could stay with the clinician's preferred choice of ventilator, whilst achieving integration with the EPR - giving us the best of both worlds.” Paul Charnley, Director of IT and Information

Selecting ENOVACOM Patient Connect: a unique biomedical interoperability platform

The trust was impressed by Enovacom’s Patient Connect solution for its ability to interface with all types of medical devices, clinical applications and patient records. It offers a single interface ensuring traceability and is a 100% software-based solution supporting all clinical staff. With ENOVACOM Patient Connect, the trust would be able to integrate vital signs information via a single interface, reducing costs and resources for its IT department, whilst enhancing patient care, reducing risk and saving valuable nursing time.

The specific benefits of using Patient Connect at the trust included:

  • Maintained current workflows – to avoid confusion and additional training
  • Easy-to-use interface for nurses – making it is easier for them to connect data
  • Enhanced mobile working – data and interfaces can be automatically monitored from mobile tablets at the bedside
  • Workflows were efficient and adaptable – to meet clinical and operational requirements

“[This was] pretty much the only tool we could find that would do what we needed it to do. The depth of the product and ability to work in a flexible way to allow us to get all the granular data we needed out of the machines and in the right format to go into the EPR was one of the key things.” Paul Charnley, Director of IT and Information

Ensuring project success and clinician satisfaction


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[1] NHS is a government department with a mission to build digital architecture around user needs

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