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19 April 2012, 06:00
Hospitals in the Thames Valley are looking to techniques used in the car industry to improve their patient care.
The “Productive Ward Programme” focuses on giving nurses and therapists more time for their patients by improving and streamlining processes in the wards.
Some of the methods used so far include:
- Patient Status At A Glance boards, on which a patient’s treatment progress is recorded, rather than being kept by the lead nurse or in folders. It's reduced the average length of stay at Prospect Park Hospital in Reading by more than 50% as all staff can see the details rather than having to go through lots of paperwork
- Medical equipment on wards at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is now stored using a colour coded system, meaning items can be found more quickly and stock levels monitored more closely.
- The time taken to give patients medication and meals at hospitals in Hampshire has been reduced by around 45 minutes per round, just by making the process easier.
Liz Redfern CBE, Director of Nursing across NHS South of England said:
“These changes are leading to real savings in materials, reducing waste and vastly improving staff morale, as time is released for staff to do what they care about – caring for patients.”