SMART solution aids staff and patient tracking


Real Time Hospital provides NHS hosptials with a view of workforce and patient activity

Workforce management solutions supplier, SMART, has signed up a number of NHS trusts for its newly-developed Real Time Hospital system.

The clients include Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust. NHS Grampian is also running a pilot in conjunction with its e-Rostering trial.

Real Time Hospital has been developed in consultation with existing healthcare customers to provide decision support to enable safe patient care and deployment of staff. Together, e-Rostering and Real Time Hospital will provide managers with a comprehensive planning tool and real time management information to instantly highlight staff and patient situations on wards.

Neil Buchanan, efficiency and productivity programme manager for NHS Grampian, said: “In a busy hospital the process of collating information regarding ward staffing levels and patient details in order to make effective operational decisions can be extremely time consuming. Indeed, the laborious nature of this process can result in the gathered data being insufficiently current to act upon effectively.

“SMART’s Real Time Hospital, which is currently being piloted at NHS Grampian, is designed to present regular information updates on the staff criteria that directly impact on the provision of safe, high quality care. It is clarity of presentation and the speed of information availability that should help our managers to assess manpower requirements and take timely and effective decisions when required.”

Nick Whiteley, managing director of the health division at SMART, added: “As the whole of the NHS wrestles with the challenge of maintaining and improving patient care in the face of budget reductions, Real Time Hospital helps to ensure staff levels, skills mix and acuity levels are not compromised.

“Avoiding patient safety incidents can save hospitals and trusts huge amounts of resource, not to mention the benefits to the patients and their families. A system like Real Time Hospital can enable an organisation to learn from such incidents, building up organisational memory, and so ensure they are not repeated. By harnessing technology for workforce management, not only can NHS trusts optimise the use of staff, they release many hours of skilled personnel back to patient care, supporting Prime Minister David Cameron’s stated aim for nurses to focus on ‘patients not paperwork’.”