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Fast Follower launches new digital assessment for Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)

PATIENTS admitted to hospitals at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group’s (NCA) in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester will benefit from an improved electronic risk assessment for all new adult admissions.

From June 4, staff will begin using a new electronic form to assess inpatients for all types of blood clots, including Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

The digital improvements are part of the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) Fast Follower Programme at the Alliance and the project team is working with the VTE committee to implement this initiative.

The NCA brings together Salford Royal and Pennine Acute hospital Trusts.

This project involves the implementation of a standard electronic risk assessment for early detection of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) within the ePMA (Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration) medchart system.

This will significantly benefit patients, standardising their care and promoting policy.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the leg, pelvis and arms. These clots can travel in the circulation and lodge in the lungs, known as pulmonary embolism (PE). Along with other superficial and rarer types of clot, DVT and PE are described together by the umbrella term of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE).

All patients admitted to hospital or undergoing procedures whilst in hospital, have an increased risk of VTE with 60 percent of all VTE occurring in hospital inpatients or patients who have recently been admitted to hospital. One in four people worldwide die of conditions caused by thrombosis.

The electronic risk assessment forms the basis of decision making for prescribing of mechanical and chemical thromboprophylaxis.

Dr Shona McCallum, medical director at Bury & Rochdale Care Organisation explained:

“Digitising this assessment process will mean we provide safer and more standardised care to all our patients. The current assessment for VTE is recorded manually on paper so these improvements will improve our way of working and ensure we treat patients better.”

The VTE electronic risk assessment is to be rolled out in phases across the hospitals as required, for all newly admitted patients over 16-years of age. The first areas to pilot this initiative will be wards T7 and G2 at The Royal Oldham Hospital, followed by 15 and 16 at North Manchester General Hospital and then wards 8 and 9 at Fairfield General Hospital.

Once successful pilots have been completed a full rollout for medical and surgical wards will commence trust wide.

Maternity, Paediatrics, Critical Care and Emergency Department are not included in the project currently.

Doctors will be unable to prescribe medications until a VTE risk assessment has been completed for new admissions, encouraging all clinicians to complete the vital risk assessment in line with policy.

Dr Georges Ng Man Kwong, Chief Clinical Information Officer at the Northern Care Alliance, said:

“This is another fantastic project to launch as part of the Global Digital Exemplar Fast Follower programme. Digitising our clinical pathways will streamline patient care in a number of specialties and really make a difference to both staff and patients. We look forward to rolling out further projects across the Trust this year.”

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