NHS Grampian Endowment Fund buys new £700k computer system to benefit patients

Consultant at ITU Iain MacLeod and Clinical Information Systems Manager for ICU, Lieneke van Beijma with one of the new systems
Consultant at ITU Iain MacLeod and Clinical Information Systems Manager for ICU, Lieneke van Beijma with one of the new systems

A new £700,000 computer system has been installed at NHS Grampian’s intensive care unit – replacing traditional beside charts.

The upgrade, paid for by the board’s Endowment Fund, will improve patient safety and save hours of staff time each week.

ICU clinical director Dr Iain MacLeod said: “At the heart of this change is patient safety. The system records physical measurements like blood pressure and heart rate as well as blood results and parameters from the various machines used in ICU, such as dialysis machines and ventilators.

“It will also save on staff time. Currently medical staff members waste lots of time transcribing blood results from a computer onto sheets of paper. The new system allows this to happen automatically.

“That’s great from a time-saving point of view but more importantly there will be a reduction of errors that can happen when writing something down.”

Fellow ICU consultant, Dr Andrew Clarkin, who led the project to install the new equipment, added: “The information coming in and out of the machines allows us to have an overview of the patients and while all that information was there before in paper form it’s more modern and more environmentally friendly as well as improving safety.

“Longer term it has huge audit and research potential. This is a database we’ll be able to examine and look at our processes and all the things we do in intensive care.”

The ICU at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary treats around 800 patients every year plus a further 400 cardiac patients.