Write type of technology benefits our patients

Children's Community Nurse, Katie Lambourne, using a digipen.
Children's Community Nurse, Katie Lambourne, using a digipen.

We are one of a number of NHS trusts across the country that will benefit from a £30 million budget to buy technology for staff to help improve the service we give to our patients.

It is the first round of investment from the £100m ‘Nursing Technology Fund' which was announced by Prime Minister, David Cameron. Oxleas has received £165,000 to further develop the use of digital pens called digipens.

This money has been used to purchase around 250 additional hi-tech pens, which can be used to update patient records.

Children's Community Nurse Katie Lambourne, explained how useful she has found using the technology at her base in Wensley Close, Eltham. Katie is one of a team of nurses out and about visiting patients' homes throughout the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Katie who specialises in looking after babies said: "The digipen allows me to keep medical records up to date much more quickly. It also speeds up the way we work. We no longer have to write up notes when we get back to the office later in the day or possibly the next working day.

"As long as we write our notes on our specially prepared forms, which correlate with our patient medical records system, RiO, all we have to do is place the pens in a special docking unit and all the patient records are automatically recorded. This can save a lot of time.

"I've had no issues using the pens, however users' handwriting does have to be quite neat."

Digipens work by using a tiny camera next to the nib area of the pen. It records whatever is written down. The pens are slightly thicker than the average pen - but they are very light and easy to use.

Beverley Bryant, Director of Strategic Systems and Technology at NHS England, said: "This is about using modern technology to support and facilitate staff in providing compassionate and personalised nursing care.

"It is about making life easier for staff - for example a digital pen can improve record keeping and reduce paperwork, a tablet or iPad can mean a community nurse can work on the go without needing to make as many trips back to the office, which means more time spent with patients. Also, mobile IT devices that can be used at the bedside puts valuable information at a nurses' fingertips. This is ultimately about enabling nurses and midwives to improve the care they provide for patients.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt said: "Innovative new technologies such as digital pens, tablets and clinical software mean that staff can spend more time with patients, not paperwork, and offer safer care."

Published on 7th April 2014