April 2012 – The KMHIS Systems Development team has just launched an efficient electronic system using touch screens to replace a time consuming paper based process for measuring the severity of a painful spinal condition.
The system has been introduced by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust’s (EKHUFT) ankylosing spondylitis service.
Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease predominantly affecting the joints of the spine leading to a stiffening of the joints, ligaments and muscles. In order to provide the correct treatment the ankylosing spondylitis team uses a set of patient measures known as the Bath analog scale. Until recently the patient filled in the measures by drawing lines on a paper form that represented the levels of pain and immobility they were experiencing. The nurse would then measure the lines with a ruler to calculate scores for different aspects of the patient’s condition.
Now the patient uses a stylus to 'draw' lines on a tablet PC screen in relation to each question. The tablet PC then carries out the calculations and uploads all of the data to the network where it is instantly available to the consultant via the trust’s Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system. This not only gets the information to the consultant far quicker but also frees up five to seven minutes of a nurse’s time per patient which can be used for enhanced patient treatment.
KMHIS Systems Development team produced the software that runs the survey, completes the calculations, transfers the data to EKHUFT’s infrastructure and provides the linkage from EPR to this data. In depth testing was done with the EKHUFT projects team.
Mike Oldfield-Marsh, KMHIS Systems Development Manager, said: “Not only do the EKHUFT staff like this because of its time saving, the patients like it as well.”