When UpToDate Anywhere became available, all the clinicians began clamouring for it, reported Ms. Sutton. "Mobile technology on our wards has really taken off, so our clinicians were very anxious to have this resource available in a mobile format."
Leicester's Hospitals also are implementing UpToDate as one element in "Nerve Centre," a new mobile project to streamline communications at shift changes. Nerve Centre serves as a mobile handover note system, enabling clinicians to easily capture and track important patient status updates via mobile technology. Devices featuring Nerve Centre also are loaded with UpToDate and the mobile edition of the British National Formulary, a reference that contains a wealth of information on the pharmaceuticals available under the NHS. With this arsenal of material on tablets and smartphones, clinicians will be able to get up to speed rapidly on a patient's current status and make more effective care decisions. As a next step in the drive to become paperless, the Trust is evaluating electronic patient record systems, and hopes to integrate the new system with UpToDate to inform point-of-care decisions.
Validating the Role of UpToDate in Improving Patient Safety
In its continuing effort to improve patient safety, Leicester's Hospitals also used UpToDate as a clinical resource in a study to reduce prescribing errors among junior doctors. The study, Effective Prescribing Insight for the Future (ePIFFany), was conducted as a partnership between the University of Leicester, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Health Education East Midlands.
The study used a blend of computer-based learning and face-to-face teaching to reduce clinical errors and to improve the knowledge, skills and prescribing performance of junior doctors. UpToDate was used in the study for supporting junior doctors' access to evidence-based clinical information as well as real-time diagnostic and treatment recommendations in the workplace. Junior doctors also had the opportunity to learn in a simulation centre where they could test out their skills in a safe environment before going on to the wards, prescribing for real patients.
"Early results of the study indicate that the multifaceted educational approach improves patient safety at Leicester's Hospitals," said Dr Rakesh Patel, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Medical Education/Honorary Specialist Registrar in Nephrology and Lead Investigator of the ePIFFany study. "We observed a 50% decrease in medication errors made by the junior doctors who took part in the study, versus the control group, and no serious errors were made at all. The ePIFFany approach has the potential to save lives and money."