As mentioned earlier this year the Nursing Technology fund is available for all organisations that are supported by the NHS. The deadline for the first round of applications was 15th January 2014; however, trusts are encouraged to make an expression of interest for the £70m that is still available by 26th February 2014. The purpose of this fund is to improve patient care. Learn about the fund here.digipen

Digital Pens

Consider digital pens. A digital pen works in the same way as a usual pen but has an added capability of a mini camera that takes 100 pictures per second of users handwritten pen strokes. Digital paper created by the Anoto Group is used as it contains specific matrix dot patterns that are recognisable by the digital pen. Upon marking a specific area of the paper, the pen will recognise that writing is complete and will send the data from the pen to a mobile phone using Bluetooth. The data is then sent to a desired registry, system or database. Data is encrypted at all times to maintain a high level of security standards. Such a mobile data capture solution is provided by Destiny Wireless Ltd.

Digital Pen Application in the NHS

Two trusts have previously embarked on digital pen technology and this has brought those trusts great savings in times, better quality and actionable data as well as convenience.

A particular trust saved £200,000 in administrative costs and freed up an extra four hours for clinicians allowing them to spend more time with patients. Previously, the clinicians recorded patient activity data manually on a diary re-entering them onto their iPM. The process was evidently long winded and often there were inaccuracies in data entries due to human error in recording the data. Using a digital pen, on completion of a patient report after each patient visit, the data is sent to the trusts preferred database or registry via Destiny Wireless Servers.

DCC Expertise

To ensure you gain the maximum value from digital pen technology, DCC are here to lend a helping hand to ensure your transition from manual methods to mobile capture is seamless.

It is important that the design of your form be it a patient activity form or another tool used to collect important data, is fit and conditioned so it is easy to complete by a clinician, nurse or other healthcare professional and contains the appropriate validations that will uphold the quality and accuracy of the data. Simple things that are easily overlooked such as sizes of fields, text boxes and so forth need to contain the appropriate design elements for ease of writing.

DCC are able to integrate a mobile capture solution with any such system regardless of complexity. Moreover, to ensure data collected and recorded by digital pens is accurate, the employment of an extensive system of extraction, verification and checking of validation will enhance and uphold data accuracy.

Measuring outcomes and being able to use the data actionably (i.e. in a way which facilitates appropriate decision making benefiting patients or enhancing the efficiency of a process) is important and it is in this way the performance of a hospital and other healthcare organisations is measured.

Reporting, comparing, contrasting and the establishment of best practise methods are important and can be achieved using an interactive dashboard. The dashboard is able to receive data from any system and data capture solution and display the data in a graphical format on a single interface.

Furthermore, you can view the data at a snap shot view, link it with other data you have collected from other systems or delve into individual bits of data down to the source code i.e. the actual document a specific piece of data was derived from. Such a flexible method of analysis allows healthcare professionals to come to better conclusions, more importantly pose relevant questions, which can lead to improvements and positive changes.

Application of Digital Pens

As stated previously, digital pens were an effective means in recording patient data after appointments, which freed up clinicians times, allowing them to spend more time with patients. Digital pens are an excellent solution for mobile workers, for example, carers visiting patients at their own homes recording data about their progress. Additionally, such a technology is useful for nurses who do medicine rounds at each ward. Recording medicine given to patients is extremely important.

There are many other applications of digital pens. Contact us today to learn more about digital pens and its application. Alternatively, book your free educational knowledge share workshop. (What is a workshop?)