COMMERCIAL: Nurses at East Cheshire Trust are using an iPad based system funded by the Nursing Technology Fund to monitor patient safety.

Macclesfield Hospital has begun recording clinical data electronically on handheld devices at patients’ bedside, replacing the standard practice of recording observations on a paper chart at the end of each bed.

Nurses input vital signs and other clinical observations into the devices, and the “VitalPAC” system automatically calculates a risk score which will alert staff immediately to any deterioration and provide advice on an appropriate response.

East Cheshire Trust medical director Rob Stead said: “We are delighted to be one of the first trusts in the region to introduce this technology and firmly believe it will increase patient safety and improve efficiency at the same time.

“It will significantly reduce the time we previously had to spend identifying high risk and deteriorating patients and means clinical staff will be able to take immediate action.”

VitalPAC is being funded from the Nursing Technology Fund which was set up by the Department of Health to invest in new technology that delivers safer, more effective and efficient care.

The system will be rolled out to all inpatient wards at Macclesfield Hospital.