A new, £700,000 computer system has been installed at an Aberdeen intensive care unit – replacing traditional bedside charts.
The upgrade, paid for by the NHS Grampian board’s Endowment Fund, aims to improve patient safety and save hours of staff time each week.
The ICU at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary treats around 800 patients every year plus a further 400 cardiac patients.
ICU clinical director Dr Iain MacLeod said: “At the heart of this change is patient safety. The system records physical measurements like blood pressure and heart rate as well as blood results and parameters from the various machines used in ICU, such as dialysis machines and ventilators.
“It will also save on staff time. Currently medical staff members waste lots of time transcribing blood results from a computer on to sheets of paper. The new system allows this to happen automatically.
“That’s great from a timesaving point of view but more importantly there will be a reduction of errors that can happen when writing something down.”
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Fellow ICU consultant Dr Andrew Clarkin, who led the project to install the new equipment, added: “The information coming in and out of the machines allows us to have an overview of the patients and while all that information was there before in paper form, it’s more modern and more environmentally friendly as well as improving safety.”
Sheena Lonchay, manager of the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund, said she is “delighted the charity has been able to support the project”. She said the charity’s investment in the ICU reflected the generosity of patients and their families in recognising the care they received from the ICU team.
She said: “The Endowment Fund exists to benefit patients in ways that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible and that is exactly what this system does.”
Dr Clarkin added: “Charitable endowments have paid for this project and improvement in patient safety; without that money, this would not have happened.
“Often, families or former patients want to give money back to the unit and want to help future patients and genuinely this is something that will have a huge patient benefit, so we need to say a huge thank you to the Endowment Fund and those who have donated to it.”