Two members of staff from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) took their learning about digital nursing records global recently, by attending the Annual Global Nursing Management and Innovation Forum in Berlin, Germany.

Tracy Carling and Melanie Waszkiel, I3 Managers from Electronic Patient Record (EPR) Clinical Content Team at UHMBT, attended the two day to network with peers from hospitals and care providers across the world and share best practice.

During the past 12 months, the EPR Clinical Content team has developed and rolled out the Digital Nursing Record across the Trust’s three main hospitals. As a result, over 60,000 electronic notes are now being recorded by UHMBT nurses each month.

The shift from nursing staff using the traditional paper based record to a digital nursing record is significant and a challenge that the EPR Clinical Content team and clinical staff at UHMBT are meeting together.

Emerging technologies such as iPods and laptops on wheels will also significantly change the practice of nursing, not just at UHMBT but indeed across the world. The right piece of equipment for the right task is important so that staff have quick access to the information they need at the point of care - on a ward, in an outpatient clinic, etc.

The challenge the team faces on a daily basis is to introduce the new technologies in a way that doesn’t disrupt the clinical staff’s already busy days. Melanie Waszkiel, EPR Clinical lead, UHMBT, said: “As our EPR Team continues to develop and roll out clinical content within the EPR Optimisation Programme the opportunity for the team to hear first-hand global best practice was too good to miss so we travelled to the conference so that we could hear what was going on elsewhere and share what we have been working on at our Trust. “It was good to know that the challenges we face at UHMBT are the same ones being faced within hospitals across the world. At this conference, I felt I learned an incredible amount and I know I can share this knowledge with others and apply it on new projects and pieces of work as we continue to roll out clinical content and technologies within the EPR Programme.”

Tracy Carling, Project Lead for the Clinical Content Team, UHMBT, said: “It was an education in every sense of the word. The people at the conference were all extremely educated and it was amazing to understand the challenges from the West Bank, Finland, Australia, America, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, Macedonia, India and other countries. It was clear that we are all facing the same struggles regarding introducing new technologies, retention of nursing staff and education, and the digital nursing record content seems a common goal. I think we are on the right track and doing the right things but there is still much work to be done.”
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