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Working in partnership to prepare the workforce for a future with AI – Simon Noel

Chief Nurse Informatics Officer at Oxford University Hospital discusses issues with interoperability between hospital systems and good record-keeping.
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My name is Simon Noel. I’m the Chief Nurse Informatics Officer here at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. I was appointed as part of our global digital exemplar programme to look at how we could best align nursing, nursing documentation with a digital programme, so how we can take things forward in a unified way to align nursing documentation across the trust and make it more effective patients. This trust, in particular, is one of the largest ones in the country. So we have about 1.4 million outpatient contacts each year. We admit about 200,000 patients, both planned and emergency. We see about 140,000 emergency department attendances each year. And patients can move between departments.
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This means that if there isn’t consistency in documentation, there may be issues to do with patient welfare, patient care, and patient risks that may be missed between departments. So by making a record for the patient, this means that we can make sure those assessments are transferred uniformly between departments. And it also means that the assessments are not missed, and the appropriate care is consistent. Previously, before this documentation when we needed to make referrals to different teams, it would mean that we would either have to make a telephone call or send a fax or send a letter through the post, the internal mail to a different specialist team to make sure that referral was made. These things would get lost.
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They were getting mislaid. And it means there would be several points of breakdown in that communication process.
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The feedback from the staff has been very positive. There are some challenges, and there always will be some challenges in a project like this. And it gives us the opportunity to assess those changes and how we can best adapt the documentation to make it work for the staff at the bedside. I think all nurses came into nursing to look after patients, and looking at a computer all day may not be what they envisaged as happening when they did that. So what I would say to those people is you’re just doing those things in a different way. It’s the same information recorded for the same purpose but just through a different medium.

What is it like to be a leader in healthcare digital transformation? Chief Nurse Informatics Officer, Simon Noel, at Oxford University Hospital discusses issues with interoperability between hospital systems and how his team are resolving these, and the importance of good record-keeping in supporting this work.

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AI for Healthcare: Equipping the Workforce for Digital Transformation

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