Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced electronic record tagging for all patients with diagnosed or suspected sepsis and acute kidney injury (AKI) in a move to improve the response time from staff.

Electronically-entered observations on the Trust’s system Nervecentre, which can be used on handheld devices, will improve the speed patients are assessed. The system is able to identify red flags for sepsis and blood results that suggest AKI, which will instantly alert the acute sepsis and kidney injury (ASK) team to potential cases.

A red tag will appear on the patient’s electronic records to show suspected or confirmed sepsis and AKI, and will trigger an immediate review by a doctor. This process is much quicker than the previous paper charts.

Charlotte Forsyth, Medical Director, said: “This revolutionary process will change the way that the ASK team works. Patients with sepsis and AKI will be attended to much more rapidly, and the team will assist with delivering the time-critical care needed for these conditions.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to introduce such a vital tool to help alert staff to those patients who often need urgent attention, quickly.”

Sepsis claims around 50,000 lives a year in the UK – more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer and traffic accidents combined.

Despite this, the Trust is committed to raising awareness of sepsis and supporting patients through their treatment and recovery.

The team have worked with several hospitals in the South West and Oxfordshire regions, with Sepsis Nurses across the UK, over the last five years to ensure that sepsis treatment is universally recognised.

Their vision and commitment for delivering good sepsis care has seen a number of other hospitals seek out the Great Western Hospital ASK team for advice and guidance on improving processes at their hospitals.

“Great Western Hospital maintains a pledge to save 500 extra lives by 2020, through consistently providing safe and high quality care,” said Nicola DeVeaux, the Trust’s clinical lead for sepsis.

“This means saving more patients from life threatening conditions, compared to what would be expected according to national survival rates.

“Through nationally recognised best practice, standardising care and supporting a culture where we can learn, grow and educate both staff and patients alike, the ASK team have, statistically speaking, saved 343 of these 500 lives, in the last year, compared to the same stats from 2014-2015.

“We are also pleased to share news that, recently added to our area, is the Swindon, Wiltshire and East Gloucestershire Sepsis Support Group. This is a group for survivors or bereaved families to come together to share experiences, raise awareness and support each other through the healing process.”

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