The East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust, or ESNEFT, was formed on the 1st of July 2018 and is the largest NHS organisation in the region. Mindsett partnered with hospital staff from the Ipswich maternity block on a trial spanning 18 weeks that included collaboration with switchboard operators, nursing staff, pharmacy personnel, and building management teams.
As part of the project process, ESNEFT outlined to the Mindsett team what issues they faced, and highlighted KPIs that would indicate project success.
One of the challenges highlighted by the team at Ipswich was the unnecessary amount of time spent by their nursing staff on manual refrigeration temperature checks. It was felt that this time could be better spent on patient care. There was also the risk of human error when conducting manual checks, figures can be misinterpreted, noted wrongly, or log sheets can be misplaced.
Another challenge highlighted by the team were reports of uncomfortable room temperatures from both staff and patients. This issue is exasperated by the outer building structure comprising mostly of glass.
There were three aims in total. The first of these aims was to automate certain processes that the nursing staff previously were responsible for, the second was to introduce a digital method of recording and storing reports. the third centering on setting the stage for the future by monitoring critical asset performance.
Mindsett installed its medical cold-chain monitors in 12 refrigeration units throughout the maternity block along with environmental sensors in 96 rooms. These sensors fed data to the team at ESNEFT via a mobile-based application.
The cold chain monitoring enabled staff in the maternity to set their desired temperature ranges for the medical fridges to ensure stock was stored correctly. The app provided clear visualisation using graphs to indicate temperature changes over a set time period. Users would also receive alerts via the app when a fridge’s temperature moved outside the set range. Upon checking the unit for faults, be it human or technical, the user then will have the option of ‘acknowledging’ the alert and leaving an explanation on the app. This information is stored and available to download in the form of a monthly report.
The environmental sensors were installed with the aim of improving conditions for both staff and patients. Data from the sensors was also fed through to staff via the app and they received real-time snapshots of room temperature, humidity, and air quality. Similar to the cold-chain monitoring this information was presented to the user in the form of graphs and was stored as easily downloadable monthly reports. The graphical representation has enabled staff at the hospital to clearly identify trends in temperature fluctuations and adjust environments where possible. The monthly reporting aided with compliance.
Benefits of the Engagement
Mindsett was able to demonstrate its remote monitoring solution is suitable in a medical environment, particularly that it can save money and staff time for ESNEFT. When looking at the KPIs set out by ESNEFT, Mindsett has:
1. Automated cold-chain reporting and released staff time to care by removing the need for three manual checks a day for all refrigeration units. Instead, ESNEFT now gets automated reporting at 5-minute intervals.
2. Highlighted unsatisfactory room temperatures and provided room environment data at 5-minute intervals where there was previously no consistent reporting in place.
3. Released clinical time to care by automating reporting and checks. Staff at the maternity block had been spending an estimated 684 hours annually on manual checks, Mindsett has removed the need for this.
4. Based on estimates saved ESNEFT up to £6,380.20 per annum. This is a financial representation of time saved by removing manual checks.
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