Secondary Care

St Helens reduces patient mortality risk with digital fluid balance project

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for their use of Patientrack an electronic observations system, have been praised following their important work around rapid response for deteriorating patients.

The Acute Kidney Injury Team drew on their clinical expertise to enhance how staff use Patientrack to monitor fluid balance, with the system already used by the trust more widely for bedside observations, to capture patient vital signs, and to deliver electronic early warning scores that allow the sickest patients to be quickly identified.

The new use of the system resulted in reduced length of stay and mortality often associated with poor fluid management in hospitals.

Ragit Varia, Consultant in Acute Medicine and Clinical Director of the Acute Medical Unit at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The implementation of the innovation of eFluid charting has vastly enhanced patient safety. This means we have more accurate charting, calculations and therefore higher quality patient fluid plans, whilst providing an enhanced user experience for bedside data entry and recognition of deterioration.”

Led by the Acute Kidney Injury Team at the trust, the project contributed to a 23% improvement in the fluid and electrolyte disorder indicator that is included within the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio: a national benchmark for patient mortality.

Moving to a paperless electronic system has also eliminated calculation errors, and saw a reduction on length of stay of more than two days for patients with acute kidney injury, a condition linked to thousands of deaths across the country each year.