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QJM. 2014 Apr;107(4):271-6. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hct242. Epub 2013 Dec 3.

Can mobile technology improve response times of junior doctors to urgent out-of-hours calls? A prospective observational study.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, King's Mill Hospital, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire NG17 4JL, UK. pherrod@nhs.net.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Hospital at Night system has been widely adopted to manage Out-of-Hours workload. However, it has the potential to introduce delays and corruption of information. The introduction of newer technologies to replace landlines, pagers and paper may ameliorate these issues.

AIM:

To establish if the introduction of a Hospital at Night system supported by a wireless taskflow system affected the escalation of high Early Warning Scores (EWSs) to medical attention, and the time taken to medical review.

DESIGN:

Prospective 'pre and post' observational study in a teaching hospital in the UK.

METHODS:

Review of observation charts and medical records, and data extraction from the electronic taskflow system.

RESULTS:

The implementation of a technology-supported Hospital at Night system was associated with a significant decrease in time to documentation of initial review in those who were reviewed. However, there was no change in the proportion of those with a high EWS that were reviewed, and throughout the study a majority of patients with high EWSs were not reviewed in accordance with guidelines.

CONCLUSION:

Introduction of a Hospital at Night system supported by mobile technology appeared to improve the transfer of information, but did not affect the nursing decision whether to escalate abnormal findings.

PMID:
24300162
DOI:
10.1093/qjmed/hct242
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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