Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Innovative database wins national award
New system launched at Royal Brompton Hospital to help children on long term ventilation at home
The ability of children on long term ventilation to lead ordinary lives and enjoy their childhood requires effective communication between patients, their families and hospital and community services. However, systems to manage their discharge from hospital to home involve many different agencies and it can take months to organise the appropriate level of home care.
Working together, clinicians and IT professionals at Royal Brompton Hospital in London have developed e-VENT, an award winning database (winner of a 2009 NHS London Innovation Award) to improve communication between hospital and community services.
This secure database will help ensure more effective coordination of care packages for children on long term home ventilation. It will enable children to be discharged more quickly from hospital and live at home with their families while ensuring that their medical needs are being fully met.
Dr. Gillian Halley, paediatric intensive care consultant at Royal Brompton Hospital, said: “We know from experience that children on long term ventilation who are medically stable would prefer to be at home with their parents. Under the current system there are many avoidable delays in discharge from hospital to home resulting in children staying in hospital longer than necessary.
“The e-VENT database was designed to improve communication between tertiary, secondary and primary health care services and between professionals from different areas of healthcare and social services. Delays in hospital discharge are not always due to concrete factors, such as housing, staff recruitment or funding, but are often due to issues around decision making, or a lack of structure so that key tasks are not appropriately allocated. These unnecessary delays impact on the patient journey.
“We are delighted to introduce e-VENT (electronic discharge pathway for children on long term VENTilation) a secure web based system for health and social care professionals. We hope that it will go a long way to improve the speed at which care packages for children on long term ventilation are delivered, so that they can be discharged from hospital more quickly and be cared for in their own home.”
The e-VENT database includes state-of-the-art features such as tracking key action points with automatic email alerts when expected time frames are breached; calendar features; equipment lists with order codes; and templates for key documents including professional reports, and discharge summaries. The database will also host key links to support networks available to families and carers as well as short online educational and training videos.
Notes to editors:
e-VENT won the 2009 NHS London Innovation Award in the Healthcare ICT Category and was developed by Dr Gillian Halley (consultant in paediatric intensive care at Royal Brompton Hospital and lead for the Pan Thames Children’s Ventilation Service) and Mr James Woods (programme developer at Royal Brompton Hospital).
A key factor in winning the award was that development of the database involved a clinical specialist and IT expert working side by side to ensure that the system was developed specifically to support a clinical need rather than trying to fit the clinical need into an existing system.