Croydon University Hospital is using Vitalpac to improve the quality of patient monitoring. Observations are more timely and complete, which helps ensure that deteriorating patients are spotted early and their care is escalated promptly to senior staff.
As a result, cardiac arrest calls have fallen by 70%, which is equivalent to 120 fewer cardiac arrests in a year. The acute medical unit went for 100 days without a single cardiac arrest on the ward.
In 2010, the hospital started using Vitalpac – touch screen, handheld technology used by nurses to input patient observations. Observations taken at the right time increased across the board. Among low and medium risk patients, timely observation increased by 50%. Even among high-risk patients, observations recorded on time increased from 50% to 70%. The number of observations taken between midnight and 6am increased by 300%.
Vitalpac automatically calculates the EWS based on the information inputted by nurses. This has reduced errors, and made identifying patients who are deteriorating and at risk of cardiac arrest more reliable.
Steve Cairney, Head of Nursing for the trust’s 24/7 team explains the significance of these findings and the Trust’s plans for the future:
On the back of the CQC visit, we uncovered that we haven’t had a cardiac arrest on the Acute Medical Unit for almost 100 days, or indeed a ward arrest for almost two weeks. This is particularly impressive considering that nationally, 23,000 people suffer preventable cardiac arrests in hospital, and fewer than 20% survive the discharge. Using VitalPAC to spot deterioration has proved invaluable. We will work with The Learning Clinic to understand what other outcomes we can improve using VitalPAC”.