A SYSTEM which helps district nurses improve the service for patients in South Tyneside is in line for two national awards.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the initiative, is a finalist in both the prestigious, national Patient Experience Network (PEN) awards and in the Lean Healthcare Awards.
The Trust’s entry, in the ‘innovative use of technology/social media’ and ‘embracing technology’ categories respectively, is for an electronic system, known as Hydra, which is used to manage patient referrals and plan home visit appointments.
Lorraine Lambert, the trust’s chief executive, said: “With an increasingly elderly population and more emphasis than ever on providing patients with the care they need in their own homes, demand for our district nursing service is growing.
“I am delighted that this use of innovative technology, which is not only improving the efficiency of the working of our district nurses but also improving our patients’ experience, has been recognised with our shortlisting for these awards.”
Health chiefs say Hydra has improved patient access to the service and their experience of care, and also improved efficiency by reducing the amount of paperwork nurses have to do, freeing up more time to spend with the patients.
Previously, compiling information to manage patient referrals and plan appointments for home visits was a time-consuming, complex, administration task.
Now, as referrals from patients, GPs and hospitals come in by telephone, they are immediately logged on the Hydra system, which generates a list allocating patient visits to the district nurses.
The results of both award ceremonies will be revealed early next month.