• Patient records and multiple systems have been integrated into a single solution, providing a more accessible, single source for patient data
  • Clinicians and nurses have more time to spend with patients and at the bedside
  • Clinical workflows responsive to the needs of patients at the point of care are being delivered e.g. common tasks entailing recording and referencing of observations, care activities and diagnostics are being made readily accessible via mobile devices without disrupting patient care
  • More efficient workflows leading to reduced workloads, frustration, and stress, while supporting the adoption of new technology and access to clinical data to inform patient care

Integrated Care requires fast, secure, mobile access to Patient Information

Here’s how County Durham and Darlington FT delivered groundbreaking integrated systems with fast access on mobile devices across the trust.

Integrated care aims to provide care and support that is planned around the needs and expectations of the person, their carer(s) and family to achieve improved outcomes.

To deliver truly joined up healthcare, many different agencies and organisations need access to patient information. Delivering the information to support smart decisions requires three key elements which are:

  1. A strategic approach to planning data access

With many different organisations using disparate systems, bringing those systems together into a cohesive framework that enables frontline staff to deliver care without disruption, needs careful planning.  A unified platform to manage digital identity enables fast, controlled access to patient information to empower clinicians, while protecting sensitive data. 

Connected devices, such as mobile and medical devices, can allow access to patient data much closer to the point of care, and enable healthcare providers to move towards a paper free environment. As access to data extends beyond the traditional desktop/thin-client to connected devices, and out into the community, the need for security increases.

  1. Strong management of digital identity for people and devices

Healthcare organisations typically use a huge a variety of devices including shared and individual workstations, from which clinicians access applications and patient information, shared mobile devices with apps that are purpose-built for healthcare workflows, and medical devices. The user base in a healthcare organisation is also fluid, with visiting clinicians, registrars, locums, and allied health professionals changing the composition of the clinical staff. Digital identity – for employees and devices – provides the enabler for new digitally enhanced workflows which support integrated care.

  1. Providing a better experience for clinicians

Whilst logging into systems is a necessity in the modern healthcare setting, the repeated need to login and retype credentials can become a source of frustration – something that clinicians faced on a daily basis at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT). Fast and simple access to systems, devices and data is essential. Digital IDs which identify users enable them to easily log in and out of systems and devices as they move between patients and around facilities. Digital ID provides the relevant access and capabilities based on the person and job role, and are easy to maintain as staff are onboarded, change roles and leave.

Reduce clinician frustration and release time back to patient care

Research conducted by Imprivata with our customers, shows that providing such access to multiple systems using single sign-on technology can save clinicians up to 45 minutes per shift, time that can be spent caring for patients. Communication, fast and secure access to pertinent information and enthusiastic adoption by clinicians and all those working in health and social care services, is key to delivering integrated care based on individual requirements, resulting in improved patient outcomes.  Here’s how CDDFT took a ‘big bang’ approach to introducing groundbreaking integrated systems, providing seamless access to patient data and integrated healthcare systems via mobile devices.

Imprivata image

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust benefits from groundbreaking integrated, mobile systems

Challenge: Working with many unintegrated systems was inefficient and stressful, and left staff without an overall view of patient data

Like all other organisations across the NHS, CDDFT faced numerous workforce challenges as the UK moved out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the existing unintegrated systems were adding to the pressure and frustrations. Clinical workflows were not efficient, as staff had to log in and out of multiple systems many times during shifts as they provided care, took readings, accessed records, and requested tests. While mobile devices were being deployed to help nurses at the point of care, without a single interface to the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and other clinical systems, workflows were still not streamlined for clinicians or patients.

Lisa Ward, Associate Director of Nursing (Patient Safety) & CNIO, CDDFT stated: “Feedback from ward teams was that anything we could do to reduce pressure would be a tremendous help. Integrated access to our multiple systems makes workflow more efficient and much easier for our staff. In turn, this has reduced pressure, meaning staff are more focused on providing the right care for patients.”

Solution: A big-bang implementation of a unique and innovative technology stack, that focused on mobile

CDDFT prides itself on being innovative and ambitious, and these traits were very evident when they called in specialists from a number of leading healthcare providers to help build a new, integrated solution stack to address their growing issues.

The new technology stack integrated solutions from healthcare technology vendors including Oracle Cerner, Zebra, Samsung, Medanets, and Imprivata. The overall system implemented was made up of:

  • Oracle Cerner Millennium Electronic Healthcare Platform for EPR
  • Oracle Cerner CareAware® which enables interoperability between medical devices, healthcare applications and the EPR
  • Medanets mobile application for clinicians
  • 1,000 Zebra mobile devices and legacy devices from Samsung
  • Imprivata OneSign Single Sign-On and Imprivata Mobile User Access Management for Android

Each piece of the jigsaw puzzle brought proven excellence to the complete picture, but had not been implemented together before. A highly collaborative, open culture was fostered to speed up mutual learning, as well as the design and build of this unique combination of technologies. Furthermore, the team at CDDFT chose a bold, big-bang implementation to bring the solution to as many of the workforce as quickly as possible.

CDDFT management, clinicians, and technical teams worked closely together with professionals from the technology providers. The Imprivata Clinical Team were brought in for two discovery sessions to focus on how best to address the challenges of safe, simple, and secure mobile participation in clinical workflows. Based on these workshops, clinicians, CDDFT IT, and the technology providers all worked very closely together to design a solution tailored to the specific needs of the Trust, and this collaboration continued into the system configuration, some of which was done remotely.

It was crucial to the ultimate success of the project that frontline personnel were involved in system testing. As the project neared its end, the clinical teams tested the integrated workflows that encompassed solutions from across the multiple vendors.

The big-bang go-live went ahead as planned in October 2022. The project met objectives and was viewed as a great success.

Results: An integrated system with easy access has reduced frustrations and increased efficiency

Patient data and multiple systems are now integrated into a single solution which delivers a more accessible, single view of the patient. The new technology stack has delivered seamless workflows to staff on the wards, making them more satisfied and efficient. Clinicians have more time to spend with patients and at the bedside. Patients feel happier as they will not have to keep sharing the same information multiple times with different healthcare professionals as they progress through the health and social care system which is becoming ever more integrated.

The implementation has shown that it was right to be bold and plan a go-live with the solution in its entirety. The Imprivata elements of the solution are viewed as the easiest components of the whole project, as they are regarded as simple to understand, and intuitive to deploy and use. Having used mobile solutions since 2016, the nursing team was adamant that single sign-on had to be part of the new integrated system enabling ‘tap and go’ access to all the apps. The Imprivata solutions have made this a reality, providing the right level of simple, secure, and auditable access wherever staff are working.

The solution, which was enthusiastically embraced, with some 600 daily users of the mobile devices, has demonstrably removed barriers. The workforce no longer has to think about the technology and switching between multiple systems during their shifts. They can now concentrate fully on providing the best patient care possible. The Imprivata solution has become so embedded that it is now almost invisible to clinicians.

In summary, Digital Matron, Emma Arrowsmith, CDDFT said; “The Imprivata tap-in, tap-off process has become very much normal practice for our staff. No-one talks about it because it’s quick, it gives them access at the bedside as they need it. Now it’s like it’s always been there. It is only mentioned when staff are frustrated by having to work in an area which has yet to implement single sign-on.”



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