East Lothian Community Hospital became the first hospital in Scotland to use a new process called Electronic Observation (eObs) on the existing patient TRAKCare monitoring system.

On Monday 29 August, East Lothian Community Hospital became the first hospital in Scotland to use a new process called Electronic Observation (eObs) on the existing patient TRAKCare monitoring system. This will make tracking, recognising and responding to any deterioration in patients easier than ever before.

Although there have been forms of electronic systems to record routine observations, such as blood pressure, pulse and temperature, set up in other areas in Scotland this marks the first time that one has been set up as part of the widely used TRAKCare system.

TRAKCare is the electronic patient management system to record and store information for patient consultations, investigations and treatments. By building eObs into the TRAK system, it is now easier than ever before to monitor and respond to signs of patient deterioration. eObs will support staff to make patient-centred decisions and complement the physical observations which already take place.

The project team was led by the Gillian McAuley, Acute Nurse Director, who has been working on this advancement in technology for the last two years alongside NHS Lothian’s eHealth team.  Dr Nikki Maran led the testing in simulation aspect of the initiative. The project was led with a Quality Management Approach supported by Lead Nurses and Senior Quality Improvement leads.

Image of medical team featuring ten women standing on the balcony at East Lothian Community Hospital.

Gillian McAuley, Acute Nurse director for NHS Lothian said; “This is a great step forward for NHS Lothian. It will mean that staff can track deteriorating patients electronically by calculating what’s called the National Early Warning Score. This then prompts the staff member to ensure the patient receives the correct frequency of observations, which can be accessed remotely to support decision-making. It also means that there is robust electronic escalation and response recording.  The system will improve the oversight of deteriorating patients and ensure that recognition and response is timely.”

“This initiative would not have come about with fantastic efforts of the NHS’s eHealth team, who exceeded all of our initial expectation, and without whom, this software innovation would not have come about.”

Dr Nikki Maran commented, “After rigorous scenario simulation testing and analysis, we’re thrilled that this new software can be officially launched.  After careful consideration, East Lothian Community Hospital provided the team with the best clinical setting and appropriate patient groups to launch eObs into the TRAK system.” 

“Installation of the new eObs software will continue across the Wards at East Lothian Community Hospital in the coming weeks.  Thereafter we aim to roll out across the wider network in the Lothians.”

Fiona Wilson, Chief Officer for East Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership, (ELHSCP) commented, “For East Lothian Community Hospital to be selected as the first hospital to launch this new technology was a privilege.  We have a fantastic team within the hospital, and their willing and receptive attitude to embrace the new software has greatly assisted its implementation and adoption. 

Finding and adopting innovative means of enhancing the quality of care we provide to our patients is one of ELHSCP’s strategic objectives.  We are incredibly grateful to NHS Lothian for providing us with this opportunity.  

Now installed, we are eager to witness the benefits this technology will bring to improving the speed in which we can react to patient’s conditions, and consequently enhancing the care standard delivered across our services.”

Lorraine Cowan Chief Nurse, for ELHSCP added, “I would like to personally thank all the staff for their hard work and dedication in making sure that everyone was fully trained and ready for the launch of this vital patient care monitoring system.”

Published: Friday, 2nd September 2022