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Patient safety enhanced as EPUT expands use of innovative technology on mental health wards

Communities / Thu 4th Mar 2021 at 09:56am

PATIENT safety is being enhanced across Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) as it expands the use of ground-breaking technology on its mental health wards.

Oxevision – an innovative digital platform which monitors patient safety and wellbeing complimenting the vital role of clinical staff – has now been installed in eight wards and another 15 will go live by the end of the year.

Rita*, a former patient on an inpatient mental health ward, said: “I think Oxevision makes us very safe on the ward. I find it hard to ask for help when I need it, or even admit to staff that I might need help. It’s good to know that Oxevision calls for help when you need it, but also, when you don’t think you need help.”

Innovation is a key element of the EPUT’s new inpatient safety strategy, safety first, safety always which was approved by the Trust’s board in January – the organisation ambition is to be recognised as one of the leading trust’s for safety.

Paul Scott, Chief Executive at EPUT, said: “Delivering high quality and safe care is our Trust’s top priority. Our new inpatient safety strategy sets out our ambition to be an organisation that puts patient safety at the heart of everything we do and to continuously improve safety –this innovative technology gives our staff another tool to help them deliver the safest care possible.”

Oxehealth’s Oxevision consists of a secure optical sensor which remotely monitors a patient’s pulse and breathing rate 24 hours a day and alerts staff if they display activity or behaviour that may present a risk to their safety.

The sensors detect changes in skin tone and chest movements, even when patients are under bedding, reducing the need for them to be disturbed or woken for observations when they may be sleeping.

In a recent report published by Oxehealth**, 75% of patients questioned said the technology helps them to feel safer and 70% felt it improved their wellbeing on the ward. Patients also reported the platform having a positive impact on their treatment.

The technology is now live on eight EPUT mental health wards. Following the success of a pilot scheme on four wards last year, the platform has been installed on a further four wards – Larkfield and Longview child and adolescent inpatient wards and Finchingfield and Galleywood adult inpatient wards.

Stephan Zentgraf, account manager at Oxehealth, said: “We initially installed Oxevision across four wards at EPUT to support the clinical teams provide safer and higher quality care. The technology has been well received by both staff and patients and we are delighted it is now being rolled out further. It has gone smoothly and is a testament to the strength of our partnership with EPUT and the dedication of everyone involved.”

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