Using a novel ambulatory monitoring system to support patient safety on an acute infectious disease ward during an unfolding pandemic.
Buss A., Areia C., Biggs C., Edmundson H., Young L., Roman C., Santos M., Tarassenko L., Watkinson P., Vollam S.
AIM: To gain staff feedback on the implementation and impact of a novel ambulatory monitoring system to support coronavirus patient management on an isolation ward. DESIGN: Qualitative service evaluation. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 multidisciplinary isolation ward staff in the United Kingdom between July 2020 and May 2021. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. FINDINGS: Adopting Innovation to Assist Patient Safety was identified as the overriding theme. Three interlinked sub-themes represent facets of how the system supported patient safety. Patient Selection was developed throughout the pandemic, as clinical staff became more confident in choosing which patients would benefit most. Trust In the System described how nurses coped with discrepancies between the ambulatory system and ward observation machines. Finally, Resource Management examined how, once trust was built, staff perceived the ambulatory system assisted with caseload management. This supported efficient personal protective equipment resource use by reducing the number of isolation room entries. Despite these reported benefits, face-to-face contact was still highly valued, despite the risk of coronavirus exposure. CONCLUSION: Hospital wards should consider using ambulatory monitoring systems to support caseload management and patient safety. Patients in isolation rooms or at high risk of deterioration may particularly benefit from this additional monitoring. However, these systems should be seen as an adjunct to nursing care, not a replacement. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PROFESSION AND/OR PATIENT CARE: Nurses valued ambulatory monitoring as a means of ensuring the safety of patients at risk of deterioration and prioritizing their workload. IMPACT: The findings of this research will be useful to all those developing or considering implementation of ambulatory monitoring systems in hospital wards. REPORTING METHOD: This manuscript follows the Consolidated criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) guidelines with inclusion of relevant SQUIRE guidelines for reporting quality improvement. PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: No Patient or Public Contribution.