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Improving care, information sharing and professional supervision and support through electronic record keeping

Jayne Miller, Assistant Clinical Nurse Manager in the Early Years, Children and Families Community Nursing Service, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Jayne’s case study was completed in 2012 and reflects 2012 prices

An Ayrshire-wide audit identified a number of improvements needed in core record keeping standards. To facilitate communication and information sharing, and to address some of the deficits in standards, NHS Ayrshire and Arran developed an electronic Child Health Record.

The new system provides a framework for staff in the Children and Families Community Nursing Service to record appropriate assessment information. Other local services, including Community Paediatric Nursing staff and the Vulnerable Children's Health Team, also record information on the system.

Jayne Miller, Assistant Clinical Nurse Manager in the Early Years, Children and Families Community Nursing Service, undertook an economic assessment of the new service. She found that reducing duplication and sharing information saves nurse staff time. There are also economic benefits of Clinical Team Leaders and Service Managers having access to information, with the total avoided costs estimated at between £59,819.15 and £88,723.55 per annum.

Improved access to information supports clinical decision making, particularly within the out of hours period. In addition, the new system can be accessed by the Child Protection Health Team, enabling more timely provision of clinical supervision.

When families receive care from a range of professionals within different teams or agencies, the challenges of effective communication are exacerbated. Recording information within a single system reduces the need for children and families to repeat this information to those involved in their care.

You can contact Jayne by email at jayne.miller@aapct.scot.nhs.uk.

One page summary
RCN Scotland policy briefing