10 December 2018

Innovative new information boards, designed by staff to improve care for their patients, are being trialled at Shropshire’s two acute hospitals.

ITU Staff Nurse Andre Goncalves with the ‘About Me’ boards

‘About Me’ boards have been introduced into the ITUs at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.

They have been specifically designed to share important information about the patient – both personal and medical – with the clinical team caring for them.

That includes what the patient’s prefers to be called, who their friends and family are, whether they wear glasses or hearing aids, what their likes and dislikes are – as well as ensuring that all the paperwork has been completed and if the patient has any medical or food allergies.

The idea for the boards, which are placed above the patient’s bed, are the result of a cross-site collaboration between ITU Staff Nurse Andre Goncalves, who works at PRH, and ITU Staff Nurse Heather Rushworth, who works at RSH.

Karen Sargent, a nursing sister at PRH Critical Care, also helped by making two further additions to the board before expediting them through the ‘5s’ Kaizen methodology at a two-day workshop as part of the Trust’s partnership with the Virginia Mason Institute. It meant that the boards were approved, printed and installed on PRH ITU by the end of the second day – saving weeks of admin time.

Andre said: “The ‘About Me’ board is the result of the joint effort of members of the ITU team with the main goal of improving communication and making sure that every team member has a quick access to the basic, but very important information about the patient that they are caring for. We hope that this will make communication easier and more effective across the whole team, with an important impact in the quality of care provided.”

Hannah O’Mahoney Magee, PRH ITU Ward Manager, said the boards were already proving to be a success – with the possibility that they could be rolled out further across the two hospitals.

She said: “The boards are a fantastic idea and demonstrate just how strong our cross-site working is with all staff working hard to improve patient care. As well as an effective tool for understanding the needs of the patient, the boards are important for safety as they ensure that all the domains involved in patient care have been addressed.

“They are also important for the patient’s family as they visibly demonstrate that their relative is being cared for and their individual needs are being looked after.”