Friday, March 13, 2009

New computer to help cut hospital mistakes

Article on theBeattie Group website on 17 February 2009

A new computer has been launched in the UK that "could be the key to eliminating some of the 40,000 mistakes made each year in NHS hospitals"

The Panasonic CF-H1 Toughbook Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) has been developed in conjunction with NHS nurses to give them wireless access to patient notes at the bedside - spelling the end of the clipboard at the end of each bed.

It will give nurses access to up-to-the-minute electronic patient records, has a series of security features aimed at minimising the room for human error on high-pressure wards, enables other clinical staff such as doctors and pharmacists to check up-to-date medical history at patients' bedsides leading to them making quicker and better-informed decisions, is able to read barcodes in order to cut out any room for misreading labels and further ensure that the right treatment is given to the correct patient at all times.

Jon Tucker, product head for the MCA at Panasonic, said: "Hundreds of mistakes are estimated to be made in hospitals every week at the moment, either through poor communication or basic human error.

"Nurses are often required to memorise information, like changes to medication, then input the details into a computer off the ward afterwards which can result in delays in data input or forgotten information.

"Disjointed communication with other departments and between shift workers has also been a cause of mistakes in treatment.

"This computer enables nurses to update a patient's central records at the bedside during ward rounds, dramatically reducing the potential for mistakes."

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