Critical event management and enterprise safety software applications specialist Everbridge has announced that Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is implementing its CareConverge and Mass Notification solutions in order to improve the targeting and impact of its IT emergency alerts and combat ‘message fatigue’ which could endanger patient care.
The system, which will be deployed in the Trust’s in-house IT Department, will replace an existing alerting tool and provide the flexibility needed to alert specific individuals or groups depending on their user profiles, including the hardware and the software programs they’re using as well as their location within the Trust.
This high level of targeting will ensure that only those affected by IT issues will receive the alert, allowing all those unaffected to continue with their work. This represents a major step forward for the Trust, which has previously had to notify all users regardless of the emergency, inevitably leading to messages being ignored.
Background to the Trust
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust serves approximately 450,000 people at three hospitals: St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, Southlands Hospital in Shoreham-by-Sea and Worthing Hospital (pictured) in the centre of Worthing. During 2017-2018, the Trust treated almost 133,000 in-patient and day surgery cases, managed 585,037 outpatient appointments and saw almost 140,000 people in Accident and Emergency Units.
The Trust’s IT infrastructure is managed by the IT Department and serves 8,000 end users. That infrastructure includes servers, network support and maintenance, application development and the IT Help Desk.
The Trust recognised that it needed to find a more reliable method to segment recipients of its emergency messages to ensure the urgency of the alert was taken seriously and acted upon, and that all alerts would reach the person for whom they were intended. To assess how this could be done in practice, key members of the IT team visited other NHS Trusts in the UK already using Everbridge’s solutions. Their recommendations, and the reassurance of knowing that Everbridge could offer a flexible and configurable system, were influential in the decision to implement the advanced mass notification capabilities at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
‘Patient First’ approach
Simon Drew, deputy head of IT operations at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “At Western Sussex, our ‘Patient First’ approach is at the centre of everything we do. The Everbridge solution offers a way in which to improve vital communications and management of incidents across the Trust, increasing the efficiency of staff and allowing us to offer a better and improved service to our patients.”
Following implementation of the Everbridge systems, the Trust has identified three additional areas where it believes it can improve efficiencies. These include working with the emergency planning team to add incident templates around hospital operations and in readiness of incidents, devising communications templates that can be used automatically for affected users during high priority incidents (thereby freeing-up key members of the team to resolve the issue) and providing support for lone workers who operate in potentially hazardous or isolated environments and who would benefit from being able to quickly call for help or indicate that they’re safe.
Javier Colado, senior vice-president of international business at Everbridge, commented: “Hospital Trusts have a Duty of Care to maintain a safe environment by ensuring that their IT infrastructure is operating smoothly and that any technology-related incidents are resolved quickly and with minimum impact on patient care. We have a wealth of experience in this area, and it’s gratifying to know that Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust made its decision to implement the Everbridge platform based on the recommendations of other leading Trusts in the UK. We’re delighted that we can help improve efficiencies for the Trust.”