Alerting Clinicians Across Hospitals and Departments:
University Hospital Plymouth NHS Trust

University Hospital Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) has been leveraging InterSystems HealthShare® Health Connect to power critical data flows across multiple systems to alert clinicians and manage patients with COVID-19 diagnosis within the hospital. The Trust has been able to respond rapidly to the pandemic using their bed management system, Salus, to show which patients have had a test for the virus, SARS-CoV-2.

If a test has been administered and returns a positive result, the Real-Time Automatic Patient Alert system (RAPA) notifies the appropriate clinicians and hospital personnel so that they can relocate the patient to the appropriate ward and provide suitable care. Currently, the trust is administering patient testing whenever a patient is admitted either into the Emergency Department, or if they attend for a scheduled procedure, as well as if any patients already admitted display symptoms. All patients with a positive diagnosis are then moved to a special isolation ward within the Trust. This also helps complete rapid testing of any other patients who have come into contact/shared bays with COVID-19 diagnosed in-patients.

Furthermore, the Trust can also provide real-time statistics on patient testing for COVID-19. These are critically important to disease tracking, surveillance, and reporting during the pandemic.

Patient List View and Status in Salus
Patient List View and Status in Salus

Salus is particularly important to clinicians across different wards as it shows real-time patient information that may not be available in the department systems. “What is most important is making sure we clinicians have up-to-date information at our fingertips,” says Consultant Radiologist Mac Armstrong, “Now more than ever, we can’t afford any delays in receiving test results.”

UHP have also extended Salus and the alert function to include patients in the broader community. For example, patients admitted at a nearby Nuffield Hospital, part of the private hospital group that has made its hospitals available to the NHS during the pandemic and patients at the local Community hospitals run by Livewell Southwest.

“The Salus system and the COVID-19 alerting are invaluable to us. We can see at a glance where patients are located across multiple facilities and make sure we can respond rapidly while keeping all the care providers as safe as possible,” says Kathryn Taylor Medicine Care Group Improvement Lead. “This pandemic has really shown how well technology and the technical teams are able to support
front line care.”

Ward Summary View in Salus
Ward Summary View in Salus

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working collaboratively across Livewell and UHP to get this system up and running. Salus is a wonderful tool, and I hope its inception will be embraced by all the areas involved.” says Allison Cragg, Data and Systems Development Lead at Livewell Southwest.

“Working closely with colleagues at UHP and Livewell the integration team at UHP have rapidly developed the Salus bed management system for use in the community hospitals. Innovative use of InterSystems HealthShare® Health Connect has allowed us to improve the visibility of resources across the patch whilst supporting patient handover and care with real time information such as a patient’s latest COVID-19 status” says Sue Bracey, Integration & Solutions Architect at UHP.

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) is the largest hospital in the UK’s south west peninsula – providing comprehensive secondary and tertiary healthcare. UHP has a secondary care catchment population of 450,000 with a wider peninsula population of almost 2,000,000 people who can access their specialist services. The population is characterized by its diversity – the rural and the urban, the wealthy and pockets of deprivation, and wide variance in health and life expectancy.


This story originally appeared the July 10, 2020 – HealthShare Connections News Flash No.3: COVID-19 Pandemic newsletter

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