Barnsley Hospital develops digital whiteboard for patient information


Barnsley Hospital has developed a user-friendly digital whiteboard which could “revolutionise” patient care.

The ProWard system was developed in-house and aims to provide a single point of access for patient care information.

It will be used along side the SAFER patient flow bundle used at the hospital – a best practice process for early and safe discharges.

Staff on the gastroenterology, general medicine and trauma and orthopaedics wards helped create the system.

Dr Kieran Baker, deputy director of ICT, healthcare information and insight services, said: “By displaying real-time information from multiple systems on one screen, ProWard will minimise duplication of manual data collection.

“It will speed up access to clinical information from existing systems we have, and reduce the need for telephone calls between departments like therapies, pharmacy, infection control, and site matrons.

“Ultimately, ProWard aims to assist in the streamlining of care delivery and patient flow across our inpatient environment.”

The system will also create an audit trail of information and eventually link up to departments like porters, so staff can request a porter without making a phone call.

Dr Muhammad Mahmood, lead medical consultant on the general medicine ward, said: “The whole idea is to develop service and support across the trust and see the flow of patients across the hospital.

“From a safety point of view we can add in information such as if a patient is vulnerable to falls. ProWard shows various symbols on the records – for example, a weights symbol means the patient is receiving physiotherapy and a thumbs up sign means a patient is ready for discharge.

“It won’t of course replace face to face communication but it is like having a snapshot of the patient.”

Interactive whiteboards have also been introduced at Southampton General Hospital.

The touchscreen technology displays information taken directly from a patient’s electronic record, including clinical alerts such as existing medical conditions, length of admission and predicted discharge date.

It also acts as a tracking system to identify what is preventing discharge when patients are medically fit to leave hospital.

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