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Techie Talk:

Embracing innovation in the NHS

Graeme Hughes of Innovise explains why the healthcare industry needn’t shy away from the latest technology.

It is estimated that, in the UK, 300,000 patients will develop a Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI)

every year. Although encouraging figures published by the Health Protection Agency show that the national incidence of infections such as Clostridium difficile and MRSA are falling, the clinical evidence suggesting the association between environmental hygiene within a hospital and HCAI insists that focus must no falter. Infection prevention through robust and effective cleaning procedures must remain top priority to the healthcare industry, to ensure the current trend in HCAI reduction continues.

From being a place where people go to get better, an unclean hospital becomes a place of transference where patients and hospital staff become introduced to new illnesses whilst within the hospital environment.

It is the opinion of leading workforce management and compliance software solutions provider to the healthcare industry Innovise, that technology is possibly the most vital element within that mix. According to Innovise, the effective creation and maintenance of the cleanest possible healthcare environment, can only be achieved through the use of a software solution to manage, track and audit cleaning procedure to industry standard. Graeme Hughes, CEO of Innovise Software comments:

“Although many hospitals are incorporating the latest technologies to achieve and monitor performance standards for cleanliness of the

patient environment, observation-based audits continue to be the mainstay for monitoring compliance with cleaning standards in the majority.

“The traditional methods of paper-based check list auditing remain common across the health-sector, which when compared to the results provided by an auditing software solution, are extremely inefficient.”

Innovise makes use of the latest Microsoft technologies to build best of breed solutions for performance management and audit/quality compliance. As pressures to improve efficiency in healthcare cleaning services increases, the risk of short cuts in cleaning service delivery rise; minimising this risk through the development of powerful yet simple to use software, Innovise have worked to provide solutions that are designed and configured to the specific to the needs of the NHS. Through the renowned servicetrac solution, Innovise enable the management and analysis of multiple audits within a single database.

In response to regulations from the Health and Social Care Act 2008, which required all NHS Trusts providing healthcare directly to patients to ensure they protect patients, workers and others from the known risks of acquiring an HCAI, hospitals have been making strides in implementing new technologies and practices to achieve performance improvement objectives. Rapid changes in cleaning technologies and processes to verify that proper cleaning procedures are followed, coupled with the huge array of software solutions available on the market, have left many in a spin. Graeme explains: “Switching from a tried and trusted paper-based way of

auditing can be a daunting prospect and of course the money involved in investing in new software is something that cannot be ignored – especially in today’s financial climate. Despite the drive to save budgets, many hospitals and NHS Trusts are, however, making the correct decision and spending on new technology now, knowing that it will save money and other resource in the future.

“Our servicetrac solution is internet based, wireless and ready to use in minimal time, so it is probably fair to say that the fear of change is probably more of a barrier to the implementation of technology than the logistics of actually setting it up within a hospital.”

An open-ness to the use of new technology within the hospital environment is supported by an NHS Confederation report entitled ‘Leading Innovation.’ Recommending that NHS Trusts should constantly look at new practices and technologies to save money and drive efficiency, the report is a positive indication that the wheels of change towards a more technological approach to management within the hospital environment are in motion. Furthermore, the report is a sign that the health sector now not only realise the benefits that technology can provide, but accept that it is the natural next step for the industry as a whole.

CLICK HERE for further information on servicetrac. To keep up to date with the latest news from Innovise, please find us on Twitter and Linked-In.

The future of our cleaning industry | TOMORROW’S CLEANING | 59 REGULAR

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