31 May 2016

T&O at major trauma centre is well oiled machine


The Major Trauma Centre at Royal Preston is one of the twenty two highly skilled, busy centres in England that specialise in dealing with patients suffering from major trauma.

Announced in 2012, the then Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley said: “With 22 new trauma centres now opening across England staffed with a full specialist trauma team, we hope to save up to 600 lives a year.”

With highly pressurised working environments, and even higher expectations, it was crucial for Preston that they had the most efficient and reliable working practices across their departments, with the right software to support them.

The need

The Trauma and Orthopaedics department at Royal Preston wanted an ‘all–in–one’ system providing high quality information and support, which also had the potential to be rolled out across multiple disciplines and departments within the Major Trauma Centre. From scheduling and managing patients, to monitoring and reporting outcomes, they needed a streamlined process to ensure efficient working and impeccable patient care in a highly pressurised and fast paced trauma environment.

The software also had to be reliable and come with round the clock technical and customer support, as the centre could not run the risk of serious technical disruption.

Bluespier was approached because of its strong reputation in NHS Trusts across the country, and put together a software package that accurately met the specific needs of the Major Trauma Centre.

The solution

It was clear from the outset that the needs of the T&O department were two-fold:

Front line care – a clear and visual way of scheduling and keeping track of patients in the trauma ward or through their pathway of care

Back end management – a system that had the ability to produce accurate reporting for outcome measures and concise automatic coding

Having evaluated the needs, Bluespier worked in partnership with Preston to implement the highly streamlined electronic Trauma Board.

The Trauma Board provides a visual grouping of patients, regardless of their location, allowing staff at Preston to efficiently manage their treatment, update patient notes and change patient statuses at a click of a mouse. Patients moving location, including those under the care of other departments, no longer run the risk of being lost and remain visible to all the staff involved in their treatment.

The board also operates on a visual ‘traffic light system’, clearly identifying and monitoring target treatment times and high priority patients for consultants. At Preston, this has helped revolutionise timetabling, allocation of theatres and the management of patient lists, resulting in a well organised trauma centre and high standards of patient care.

Danny Redfern, Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Royal Preston Major Trauma Centre said: “Our Bluespier software is the envy of other directorates. Keeping tabs on our emergency patients used to be nightmarish. We had confusing and competing paper-based lists all of which were perpetually out of sync and out of date with different lists being used for our patients all over the Trust. This is a thing of the past. From admission through x-rays, Trauma meetings and ward rounds, to theatre and beyond, all patient information is available in real time in a central location, easily accessible remotely by approved clinicians from any computer in the network.”

“Dispensing with duplication caused by paper records means better communication and less time spent on unnecessary cross-checking, as well as safer care for patients. Staff on the trauma wards are seeing the benefits of the system, as any change in status is instantaneously visible across the entire Trust.”

He added: “Our administration staff love the scheduling as it’s much more straightforward than our previous system. From a clinician’s point of view, the ability to send messages to different consultants via the system to ask for specialist opinions, or be updated with any issues before continuing treatment, has made our lives much easier. Being able to access the system remotely is also a huge benefit. We can ensure smooth handovers as clinicians start and end their shifts or patients travel through various departments, and we find it easier to make and to communicate multi-disciplinary decisions.”


As well as assisting the day to day management of patients, the Trauma Board creates efficiencies in reporting processes for Trauma and Orthopaedics too. As a by-product of the data capture that happens through daily use, the trauma board collects data required for monitoring and reporting, simply and without extra work. Targets are also easier to track and achieve – the traffic light system ensures treatment times are visually clear and patient care is the ultimate focus.

Bluespier support

The system at Preston was implemented swiftly, from software mapping, to technical implementation and staff training. Twenty-four hours a day technical and customer support is always available, giving the T&O Unit the peace of mind to focus on what they do best.

And the potential doesn’t end there. The system is highly configurable, with the opportunity to provide tracking and patient management for other specialties involved with Major Trauma management, collecting and reporting TARN dataset and generating the rehab prescription, all as part of the normal work routine of clinical staff involved with the care of Major Trauma patients.